August 9th, 1999

alice lost in labyrinth

poem: When They Buried Brian

When They Buried Brian

I was there
when they buried Brian
and today I'm there again
as we drive past the graveyard
in daylight where a bulldozer
and a heavy man with a heavy job
is digging during rush hour

I was there
when they buried Brian
people surrounding the casket
crowding him like they did
when he was alive
everyone wanted to
touch Brian

The minister told us
to say good-bye
last chance to touch
the pretty box before it is
eaten by the ground
I held back behind
this gathering

Slowly separating
my mind from my feelings
I could not
make myself cry
not while her face
was covered in
small clumps of tissue

I did not know him anymore
when he was
taken with the waves
but I knew him
when we were children
and that day
he hung stuffed hearts

In my bedroom
causing the ancient light fixture
to crash to the floor
If I had known his body
would wash to shore
I would have remembered
his last words to me

When they buried Brian
It was as though every one of us
was supposed to learn something
but a year later it feels like no one has
I'm waiting to hear who's next
to remind me how foolish I was as a child
and how foolish I may have become.

ADP 14 July 1999 / 09 August 1999