9-28 The Hour Before

My last aunt died August 2016.

The Hour Before


At Blackwater Baptist cemetery,

behind the loose-shingled steeple

a massive cedar shades

lichen-capped tombstones

bent askew by centuries

of blistering heat and pitiless ice

as I wait beneath, bough-shaded,


for the service under a blue tent

some seventy feet away where her body

rests in its wooden cocoon.


Dragonflies surf heatwaves

as sweat soaks my collar and tie.



how spacetime curves into that

black hole singularity

under the coffin,


and how the vision of her smiling face—

beatific—beams through the tears to come.