Why They Wander by Brian Rihlmann

it’s not like it was—
we don’t die at home anymore
it’s all handled by professionals
often we don’t hear grandma’s
last breaths or feel her
hand go limp in ours
we don’t see her again
until she’s pickled and
painted like a sad clown
lying in a fancy silk-lined box

then we roll in style
in a sleek caravan
arrive to a freshly dug grave
a yellow beast lurks
among the cemetery trees
awaiting it’s cue—
crowd departs
enter stage left

we leave in tears
but without blisters
aching backs
or a speck of dirt
under our nails
then we wonder
why her ghost wanders
so restlessly and so long
through our dreams

Brian Rihlmann lives and writes in Reno, Nevada. His poetry has appeared in many magazines, including The Rye Whiskey Review, Fearless, Heroin Love Songs, Chiron Review and The Main Street Rag. His latest collection, “Night At My Throat,” (2020) was published by Pony One Dog Press.