The Eldest Child and Her Mother Talk About Death
by Erica Bodwell


If I die first
then all George's
money will go
to Angela and Michael
and Michael is
as you know
a heroin addict
and what about
this house
and my Longaberger
basket collection
and Joy
my neighbor
who just the other day
gasped
at the geraniums
lining the walk
and said that my house
was more beautiful
than anyone’s
she’d ever seen
and nods
when I say
that I’m glad
that only you girls
are seeing counselors
and not the boys
if I had ever
said a word against
my parents my mother
would have
slapped
my face
like the time
I got that
horrible sunburn
and she hid
the calamine
because it was
my fault
for falling asleep.
If I die first
then George
will be in charge
of my memorial
service not you
guys and all
I really want
is for someone
to say “her life
was about children”
even though you
guys think
that John turned
out badly
having all those
kids and no
work.
If George dies first
then I'll get all his
money,
did you know
that in
New York State the
wife has a right
to half
the estate?
Well, if I die first
I guess it won't matter
because I'll be
dead.






Copyright 2019 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.