Painting after a Funeral

I am tired from the painting and the funeral-going, the driving, the turnpikes, the rain in sheets, blinding us in the midst of giant, careening trucks, their drivers late for dinner, the turnpike shoulders taken up by construction, orange cones in blurry lines, relatives no one has seen for decades, aged in place, their hair as it was when they were kids and left home to be wild across the country, falling in volumes of curls that grow with the heat that comes at graveside, the rain off and on even with the sun shining, sometimes pouring sideways under the green tent the mortuary erected to keep us dry while looking at the uncle’s plain wooden casket, the velvet cover askew, the lowering, creaking inch at a time to the bottom of the grave, the shoveling, burying, each of us standing in shallow mud to lift a mound of dirt from a wheelbarrow, taking turns, covering every inch of the plywood bit by bit until all we see is earth.

6 Comments on “Painting after a Funeral

  1. If you and I were in the same room and you were speaking this, you would hear that spontaneous outbreathing, the “ah” or “oh” of recognition and admiration.

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