M. Brett Gaffney
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
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.