Five Stones (An Inexpensive Death Ritual)

One— is for the head, to be placed on the bed.
For that is the only way to make sure that their dead.

Two— is for the lips, to be placed with a kiss.
Instill a tender mercy to those that we miss.

Three— is for the tree, and should be placed by the knee.
It blights the sturdy trunk and so is spurned by the bee.

Four— is for the door, and should be placed on the floor.
It keeps the things outside and spares the heart that is sore.

Five— is for the soul, and should be placed in a bowl.
Crowded with some lovely things to be excised as a toll.

Now that I have done these things, she said to the man,
'What am I supposed to do with his golden wedding band.'
'That is for me' he said, 'that is what you pay.'
'For the trouble I have gone through,
to send your husband away.'
The woman just looked at him as he walked out the door.
The man just shrugged and said,
'He won’t need it anymore.'

by Maynard Hartman

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