September Funeral


Two strange women whisper
through a cloud of baby’s breath,
their lips the creased petals
of poinsettias, their voices muffled
in a thick Mississippi drawl.

They pile jelly doughnuts
carelessly on their plates,
their polyester blouses freckled
with white tears of powdered sugar.

While they smile behind their napkins
I think of your startled body glowing
in the bruised light of the Bogue Falaya.

I watch them gossip over coffee,
listen to their remarks fall
like the snow outside.

--from Story South