Jan 4, 2011

Two Funerals

Written by Maryann Corbett

Read by Brandon Courtney

                        Pass them. You must. Dark-uniformed, sharp-creased —

the whole force here. No squads to cruise Northeast,

                        Their stiff, flag-bearing ranks strand toward the hill

to work the trash-pocked site of that soured drug-deal

                        near the cathedral. Pass, through the crush of badges

where chaos blasted and bled from festered grudges

                        and guns? You must. You must: you are called to sing,

into this grief, this grace-and-gospel wailing,

                        to wring from air high-chanted ceremonies,

where young men hug, grim-faced, and lower their eyes,

                        strung taut, while priests and politicians speak

to their own open graves, next month, next week —

                        O hard recessional hymn where no one touches!

File past the suit-clean body, the casket’s satin ruches.

                        In one patrolman’s hands, the rosewood box of ashes.