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Where Will You Go When You Die?

Lord, with all due respect,
would it be OK if I just stayed here
in Cleveland, in my own backyard,
perhaps in the form of ashes
mixed with mulch and manure
and strewn in the flower garden?

I’ll watch my kids playing in the sprinkler, 
or chasing each other 
with their light sabers through summer.

I will observe my wife 
grilling chicken on the barbecue, 
clearly not with the same skill 
as her late husband, although
she does seem to be improving,

as I can see from my vantage point
over here next to the hydrangeas,
which I so often failed to fertilize,
or weed, or even water
back when I was alive. 

Make yourself useful, 
she used to say, and here I am
doing exactly that.

—from the Rattle Chapbook Prize winner, Cheap Motels of My Youth


“Nice to think that you can keep on contributing, even on a relatively small scale, after you’re gone.”

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