She lay there in the coffin, and her lips were turning blue. The priest and doctor claimed that there was nothing they could do. “Your Sally has moved on but you will see her by and by.” The mourners passed in order one by one to say goodbye.
Her hands were clasped upon her on the gown beneath her breasts, Her fingers clutched a crimson rose, the kind that she loved best. When Gramma stopped and pulled a little petal, Sally sighed. And Mamma bent down close and shed a tear that quickly dried.
Then sister Nell who never ever walked around by day Emerged from corner shadows for she had something to say. Her voice was soft and gentle though the words she spoke were tart, Like berries not yet ripened. Sally gave a little start.
We couldn’t hear Nell’s words, of course, but we knew what they meant. And when our Poppa closed the lid, he left a little vent. The time had come for us to share our mem’ries at the wake. For sev’ral hours we laughed and wept without a single break.
The funeral procession was now ready to start out. The driver of the hearse could not be found a’ywhere about. The tail of his black tux was dangling from the coffin lid. But none of us dared check to find out just what Sally did.
We fled the scene. Now idling cars still wait under the sun. We knew what Gram and Momma and our sister Nell had done. Each poem tells a story true, and so I write this verse. If you think Sally’s dead, then you can ride inside the hearse.
Tyree Campbell is a retired U.S. Army translator with about forty novels and novellas, over a hundred short stories, and four dozen poems in his body of work. He also manages Hiraeth Publishing and nurtures two dogs: Coda, a husky/German shepherd mix, and Laika, a husky/golden retriever mix. Laika is of course named for the first Earthling in space. You can find his books and others in the Shop at www.hiraethsffh.com.