Doc
by Ralph Monday


The snow comes like a late day
so quiet so slow

birthed by aluminum clouds
falling flakes

are a road motoring me to
decades past

in the Tennessee mountains
where Doc was dead.

The morning of his funeral a
blizzard came from the

east and swirled like a hunting
beast toward the

west.
The car would not start

sat there growling as
some mechanical thing

come to life, wanting only to
sleep beneath the shrouded snow.

The baby was sick and cried the
whole way to the church.

I was a pallbearer lifting my dead
brother from the hearse

into the house of remembrance.
The mountain preacher

was not kind, speaking of Doc’s
sins, that it was too

late for him, the flames licking
now at his trespasses,

eternally, forever, burning them
away like crumpled
paper, but not too late for us
as he offered the altar call.

No one went. Instead
we filed silently past

the open coffin
and gazed in wonder

at the big cake of makeup
on his forehead that

did not hide the bullet’s
exit wound.

He looked angry lying
there, frozen fury

forever set in place like mortared
stone.

Afterwards, my wife said
that is the deadest person I

have ever
seen.

This kind of snow never
stops.






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