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Cardboard Urn by Michael Meyerhofer

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I am constantly distracted. I should just not work this week and just give in to my desires: reading, sleeping, listening to music, writing. And a million other things.

Distracted, distracted, distracted. Damn. Anyway. One of Meyerhofer’s poems (Dust) has been floating around lately. Wonder what brought that on. He has other poems I like, especially this one (read this during those weeks after Lolo’s death):

Cardboard Urn
Michael Meyerhofer

After the funeral, your hair
and skin baked to ash,

your body brought back in a gray box
with a bag of soot inside,

box and bag on a pedestal by the table,
your brother came to see you.

He asked where you were,
and when I said By the table

he thought I said On the table
and he said Here?

peeking under the lid
of an empty drinking cup,

as though we had gone
to the local Kwik Stop

for gas and fountain drinks
then decided what the hell?

and used a cardboard Pepsi cup
for our mother’s urn.

He actually thought that,
and his eyes got wide

as he stood in the dining room,
unspeakably appalled,
staring at that cup

and mother, oh sweet jesus
how I wanted to laugh.

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