After the funeral finished, they sat in their car
and ate egg salad sandwiches my grandmother made,
watching each vehicle wobble up and down
deep ruts sliced through cemetery lane,
behind the wall of their white windshield,
wet sloppy snow splattered them invisible—
watching three men bury an old farmer's body
in a fresh frozen space not long
enough to conceal the coffin.
The men yelled blame back and forth
until one worker severed the end of the casket,
shoved the farmer's laced shoes further
into the pine box, placing the end piece on top,
sliding their secret down the mouth of the grave.
My grandparents drove home, shaking
in the chill of what they witnessed,
frozen inside truth they told me
late at night in their living room,
a fear they felt every day after, repeating
the promise I made to them, to stay close
through their burial day, choosing me
in my fourteenth year to honor
the wish that they wouldn't be alone.
A journal of narrative writing.