Podium: Online Literary Magazine > Issues > Issue 9 > Poetry > The Death and Dying Seminar

 


 

 

The Death and Dying Seminar

Geri Peterson Joseph
 

The grieving mothers, fathers, form a line
in the last hour of the seminar.
(And my own death I see: It will be mine.)
Let your eyes open, spoken from afar.

In the last hour of the seminar,
we list what’s holy, then why we can’t die.
Let your eyes open, spoken from afar.
My Communion dress, white, the cloud-filled sky.

We list what’s holy, then why we can’t die.
Their stories unfold, speaking one by one.
My Communion dress, white, the cloud-filled sky.
From shrine to shine, he lived, the boy, her son.

Their stories unfold, speaking one by one.
A boulder rolling – her words, a great weight.
From shrine to shrine, he lived, the boy, her son.
Shot after shot until his pain abates.

A boulder rolling – her words, a great weight.
She knows these words. She has said them before.
Shot after shot until his pain abates.
A hollow carved in me, her words a roar.

She knows these words. She has said them before.
My Communion dress rustles, stiff and white.
A hollow carved in me, her words a roar.
Her sash blue as in Lourdes. His body, light.

My Communion dress rustles, stiff and white.
(And my own death I see: It will be mine.)
Her sash blue as in Lourdes. His body, light.
The grieving mothers, fathers, form a line.

Geri Peterson Joseph lives and works in New York City. One of her poems, “The Grimm Truth,” appeared in The New Yorker.