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Surprise Departure MAG
We heard the news
evening phone call
the vegetable spoon clattered to the floor
looking so terribly ordinary – empty holes like dead, blank eyes.
Spot crept forward to sniff the splatter on the linoleum.
We packed your belongings.
sunny morning, light and warm.
the hand-spun blanket snagged on the car door
light blue yarn resembling, for all the world, your face etched into the sky
a butterfly alighted on the shredded fibers
We cautiously tugged them free.
We drove to the morgue.
Fireflies swarmed, dusky afternoon.
the blue vase cracked, stale water oozing from your box
like your small cache of knick-knacks, missed you, and cried hard.
Mosquitoes buzzed, growing their young in the pools of tears on the sidewalk.
We turned away, disgusted.
We dressed formally.
Brightest sunlight turned gray in our eyes.
the summer camp bead bracelet wouldn't latch;
the birthday gift tie turned out crooked every time.
Pookie gazed out the window at the mismatched, somber pair
We stumbled to the car.
We stood in the second row.
Dry static fairly sparking in the air, pulling us closer together.
the first line of chairs empty, no real family in attendance
their vacancies sucking us down like a black hole as we strained forward to hear the preacher.
the eyes in all the paintings followed the moving casket.
We closed our eyes in horror, striving to stop the tears.
We ate our breakfast.
A damp sky, as soggy as the cornflakes in the bowl.
Silver and porcelain settings at your place, patiently waiting.
No footsteps echoing down the stairs – the loudest sound no one could hear.
Coiffed anchormen and women stared accusingly from inside the TV
We turned our eyes to the new “Room for Rent” advertisement.
the empty trash can gladly swallowed it up.