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CIRQUE

Craig Smith

Sunday obituaries The Sunday paper is in the driveway And that means paid-obit bonanza It’s the first thing I open to Now that I’m almost 70

If you write an obit, give me quality details If he was a cop, what was his beat? Tell me he watched Mariner games with his cat Or collected beach glass and loved Sinatra

How many of the deceased Will be people I knew? Or maybe I’ll know someone in the family Or at least the family name

Tell me he sold shoes And had patience with women Or that he played saxophone And liked spaghetti for breakfast

The obit page is democracy in action Write the obit and pay for it Black, White, Hispanic, Asian Just don’t bounce the check

Tell me he traveled to six continents Had a rollicking laugh And had been a Seahawks season-ticket holder Since 1982

After the first time through My reading is less anxious Now it’s more of a game To find and savor the oddities

Don’t tell me he is going to Heaven Because you really don’t know Instead, tell me more about him What made him special and now mourned

How many decades-old military photos? How many husband-wife photos Even though only one is dead? How many photos with salmon?

And tell me how he died It’s a question that merits an answer I hope you tell me he went peacefully But don’t lie if he didn’t

Sometimes, there are splendid thoughts Like the guy from my high school Who declared, “NO FLOWERS!” “Instead, go buy a friend a drink” I admired the woman who told us She had enjoyed a good life And wasn’t afraid of dying Now that she had said her good-byes I like the occasional jab Like the fellow who declared That his ex-wives would be delighted To expound on his many faults I like it when devoted caregivers Are thanked by name It shows heartfelt appreciation And a lot of class

Pain

Katherine Coons

Profile for Michael Burwell

Cirque, Vol. 6 No. 2  

A Journal for the North Pacific Rim

Cirque, Vol. 6 No. 2  

A Journal for the North Pacific Rim

Profile for burwellm
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