How My Neighbor Deals With Death

I.
Now I have seen everything.
The wake is going on right now from two to four
And it’s a quarter to three
And I look out the window
And I see Tony in shorts and a baseball cap,
Walking around, moving cars,
Not at his brother’s wake
Which is only today

II.
So I go to the funeral
Tony shows up late
And gives a speech
He hardly says a word about his brother
He starts talking about his business
And how it wasn’t going well
And somebody ripped him off
But now things will get better
And he talks about some charity he’s giving to
And the importance of giving to charity

III.
That evening from his yard
He told me that I smile all the time and
That my life must be going well.
“You’ve always been one of the nice ones, ” he said.

by Michael Philips

Comments (2)

Oh Michael, this is such a great example of a poem being what you didn't say...and all the words you cut out do speak volumes. This is a good one. It broke my heart.
So atmospheric and so intriguing.. I read it three times in case the words had changed while I wasn't lookoing...