SONGS FOR WOULD-BE SUICIDES
Everyone wants to believe in magic but still they
ask, how the trick is done. Poor Uncle Arthur
contracted a sunburn down his throat from falling
asleep at the beach with his mouth wide open. No one
knew the benefits then of sun screen, never mind
how it could be applied. He died in a sit-down
lawnmower accident, one of the worst in the state.
Aunt Kate never bothered to cut the grass again.
She found a golf ball in a bird’s nest in a pine tree
and opined, “Just imagine the time that bird,
wasted waiting on something that would never hatch.”
She grew old just like that, in the house, alone,
surrounded by a sea of grass and when I asked
why she never cut it with the mower left in the shed,
after Uncle Arthur’s untimely death she said
she didn’t know how to start it.
—from Rattle #26, Winter 2006