Laid to Rest

rocky gap

You were laid to rest today,
and you would laugh, wouldn’t you,
at that phrase,
knowing full well
it would be the only way
for you to rest?

Rarely did I see you rest
until your body and mind
so declined
that little option was left,
and it wasn’t, of course,
your choice—
it was the dictate
of your dementia.

Before then,
it was full-time work
at Frisch’s, then Webber’s and Sailor’s,
hostess, butcher for over 30 years,
and that was just the paid work;
what about taking care of dad
for over 50 years,
and raising four kids,
and then adopting three more,
when the first four
were all but grown and gone;
what about the house cleaning,
laundry, ironing, cooking all the meals,
packing all lunches, washing dishes by hand;
what about making all the holidays
so special even when we never had much;
what about serving and teaching
in the church all your life;
what about reading us stories;
what about studying scriptures religiously;
what about writing poetry;
what about Teeny Tiny Tea Parties;
what about Joy Boxes;
what about that car wreck
that almost killed you
and physical therapy for months
to recover movement and energy;
what about always looking
to serve the poor,
when we would say,
“But we’re poor!” and you’d say,
“There’s always somebody poorer.”

No, “rest” and “mom”
were never closely associated
until today,
as I stared at that shiny box
and then that upturned earth
under which it now lay,
and I thought,
finally mom,
you can rest,
in peace,
though, I thought,
knowing you,
you’re probably dragging dad
to and fro
in the spirit world,
seeking family and friends,
teaching, citing poetry,
signing up for celestial choir,
enjoying the new carefree,
mortality free energy;
because who can rest
when there’s so much to do anyway?

About stevenddorsey

I have been an avid writer for as long as I can remember. I enjoy composing poetry, lyrics, children's books and fiction for young adults. I have traveled the world extensively in my 25+ year career as an International Development professional and executive. I have lived in Europe, Latin America, and Africa. I speak Spanish and French. I married Rachel Miltimore in 1985. We have five children and five grandchildren. We currently live in Manassas, Virginia. We enjoy writing children's books together.
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