Mom's Eulogy


It’s already hard enough to say anything accurately
without further obfuscating and camouflaging the soul.
The faces in the funeral pews are impassive, impatient
and the dead woman cares not what’s said, isn’t even present.

The poet gets innumerable do-overs, it’s one of man’s wonders,
revises his vision of his mother and plays her piano, posthumously.
Why not say it simply? Hers was a comity
and a tragedy, both. As are ours. And perform the history that surrounds us.

Are caskets boats? The ship of death rides Charon’s waves
or perhaps on that solitary day you happily kayak to the huckleberries.
Is the deeper sadness incomplete achievement or never to have tried?
Any attempt to decide this question for others is to badly behave.

The pablum of Christianity, esp. the Catholics, re the after life
must be rejected. It’s necessary. To be replaced by community,
perfection of the human project, nature’s intelligent partner.
Dusty, sadly habitable houses along the funeral route, shapeless

people crossing themselves when ambulances or hearses pass.
I wanted to describe the sweetness of her life, how she was part
of the problem and part of the solution. How love and evolution
are passed like loaves from person to person down the generations.

Find the humor in the cholera. When my father died
he waved like a surfer riding a wave or a clown riding
an elephant out the circus tent. Mom follows the same law.
The many ways a spear can pierce a warrior’s jawbone or armor.


Copyright 2013 by Robert Ronnow.