Pet Funeral

You will learn something from this,
that much is a given. The way of gravestones
and infinity. What goes on, what doesn’t.

Dearly beloved, we are here to honor,
pay respect, giggle through the tears
about the time you wriggled free from your harness.

Dearly beloved, we are here to try
to make ourselves feel better
and it helps to remember you swaying
that first time in your translucent
blue ball, unsure of operation.

Dearly beloved, we are here with pulled flowers
and bricks that bear your name
in permanent black marker.

Dearly beloved, we are here.
And it's absurd the way all funerals are absurd.
We are here, our hearts hammered thin and medieval.

And I recognize it, the lusterless plate weighing
my children down. The plate I'm supposed to fill
with talk of angels, fields of alfalfa, wings and lights.

Because no matter what, you will learn
something. You will carry something with you
from this day forward, something that didn't exist yesterday,
the sure mark of change fixed to your small, immutable bones.

Theresa Boyar (www.theresaboyar.com) lives in Helena, Montana, where she is currently working on her first novel. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in several journals, including Rattle, Wicked Alice, the Florida Review, Blood Orange Review, Small Spiral Notebook, and Salome. (theresa@theresaboyar.com)

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761