I die I want to come back
as a duck because ducks can fly
faster than cheetahs can run,
my teacher said.
son, I nod and let you believe.
let you believe in the flight of your heart.
my father died,
I had his body cremated.
All that remained was a package
of sand (not dust) the size of a child's shoe box.
paid cash for him
and buried him in
the back of a coat closet.
my friends at school have grandpa's
that can talk, my son moans, closing the door.
when you die, he tells a neighbor, full
of childhood wisdom. You turn into a box!
God. Come, let me hold you
while I still can. While your heart
still sits in a cage. Already you've
spent some time with flight and
your youth has gotten stained.
2River View, 4.3 (Spring 2000)