Conte, a journal of narrative writing.

Erma had a husband Charlie
and Charlie was dead but
his body sat on the curb
inside a 57' Lincoln towncar
with his guts inside the floor.
Erma would sit on the porch
not moving for days
as the Lincoln
would occasionally (according to the weather)
move an inch or two
ever so slight that
she was afraid
to miss it: afraid that
one strong gust, one cold current,
or one quiet tow would just
make Charlie roll away
like driftwood to a shore.
but for a long time Charlie
remained simply     an inch a day.
the city saw otherwise and sent
an undertaker with a hitch to steal
Charlie's tomb and
to see that man's look in his eyes as he grappled Charlie's
broken      body into two to see him
see Erma in tears gulping hard candy
hands shaking like Alzheimer screaming
that Charlie was hers to stay
to see his eyes a man
doing his job. a man being
paid. to see him hesitate.
he was too strong to kill Erma. too strong to
let her wilt on the porch and so with one
mighty gesture he settled the Lincoln back
to its floor
and Erma having found
her knight took him
inside for cups of tea
and hard candy
and though Charlie's tomb
had now effectively moved BACK three feet or so
by the time Erma died it was almost as if
he had just come home.