Mt. Zion


After funerals, everyone goes berserk:
they sell the rings, hide the policies, dig up
the money jar, stiff the undertaker,
toss the antique child’s rocker, the ceramic
pie plates, and the tintypes of all our Indian
ancestors. They kill the roses, disown in-laws
and second spouses, chain the Doberman
to the mimosa, refuse to reveal the cole slaw
recipe, cuss out the woman preacher, junk
the upright piano, and the glass and cherry bookcase.
They unbolt the door for the copper plumbing crooks,
swipe The Bible, and lose the house to taxes.

I lean on the oak at Mt. Zion , hoard
pencils and Christmas cards, avoid doctors,
take pictures I won’t ever develop.