Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Will

Mom and her older sister, 1937.

The conference room was ample
The lawyer droned on and on
The aide made endless copies
Which the accountants set upon.

We came to meet the men
Who bill by the hour
Who passed out streams of paper
And looked entirely too dour.

The will was probated months ago
The taxes were yet to be paid
The extensions were filed in triplicate
The piles of folders needed a spade.

Endless questions for these priests
Who control the language of our lives
Who scribble out the sacrifices
That are demanded by our gods.

These are the chores of the living
The ones who are left to grieve
All of us must persevere
Or so we all believe

She was more to me than parchment
More than life insurance and deeds
But the entirety of her financial life was
Spelled out on this pile of leaves.

I felt her last in her empty bedroom
Bereft of any evidence of her life
She must have been that spirit
That touched me in my heart.

My cousin and I shed tears that day
Remembering her endearing charms
But today she did not visit us
In that wainscot paneled room.

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