Cajun Mutt Press Featured Writer 02/17/20

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The Peace of him that I carry

Walking into
the chapel
I keep
my hands
folded to
show

Reverence
or maybe I let
my arms hang
like a willow
tree

We sit on
benches

and stare
straight ahead
at the teenager
in a box

I am Nine
or ten
this is my first
funeral and
my parents
were not told
so I am
not
prepared
for

this,

a stranger
with pale
skin but
on his face
a smile
that looks
like

Joy.

I think
if he is
smiling
he can’t be
completely
dead and
I wait for

someone else
to notice
so he can
walk out of
this room,
laugh with Brother
and Sister Allgood

Maybe he
wasn’t smiling
and I only
imagined it
trying to
protect my soft
chewing gum heart
from the
inevitable

As if I could
fix him all up

Somehow fit our
heavy world
back on to his
too-tired
shoulders

Β©2020 Melanie Browne All rights reserved.

MBFW

Melanie Browne is a poet and fiction writer living in Texas. Her work can be found at The Rye Whiskey Review, Pulp Metal Magazine, Midnight Lane Boutique, and other online journals.

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