M. Brett Gaffney 

Schrödinger's Urn

Don’t think about the urn,
don’t look inside at the ashes 
                                         all churned up.

Pretend the urn isn’t really an urn
but instead a vase, 
or a box maybe, with a cat inside
                                                   mewling in the dark.

Remember her face, her hands, wrinkles like the maps of rivers,
remember her before the hospital, before and before.

If we believe the Austrian’s theory then my grandmother is both alive and dead 
                                                                                                                                                           and alive.

So keep the lid closed, don’t scatter the afterdust,
let it sit on the living room shelf along with her jewelry.
Make her a plate with an extra slice of pie. A glass of sweet tea. 

                                                                                              Don’t watch the ice melt. 


M. Brett Gaffney, originally from Houston, Texas, holds an MFA in Poetry from Southern Illinois University and works as Associate Editor for Gingerbread House Literary Magazine. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Exit 7, Penduline, REAL, Permafrost, BlazeVOX, Licking River Review, and Zone 3 among others. 


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