Mom's Funeral

Seattle, USA
March 2, 2010

Ben couldn't find a cross plain-enough to lay atop Mom's casket. So, Ben went to the house where we grew up. He cut two long branches from the holly tree standing just inside the front gate. Mom loved that holly tree.

Mom wrote poetry. But, Mom never shared anything she wrote while she was still alive. One of her final requests was that, upon her funeral, each of her surviving children recite a poem she selected. It was Alan who read out the only of these that Mom herself had written:

To Zeke, Also 37

"Son of dust, can these bones become people again?"
Ezekiel 37:3
My bones are tickling to be out
free of their thin confining rind of skin.
They are tingling and jangling with excitement,
quivering at the scent of the autumn in the air.

True, spring is the usual time for beginnings, but
bones know their own time; they clock it in their marrow.
Perhaps they mirror star time, since
they are made from the same cosmic particulars

My bones are itching to snap asunder
ripe pulp of muscle, juice of blood
nerve-net fibers and to stand all shiny
star stuff, rendered clean and ready to run.

Someone has set the alarm and left it ringing,
just in time for a divergent genesis.
It's half-past restoration now and the bones
are poised, punctual, eager to participate.

My bones are aching to slither themselves separate
and go walking in the night; to feel the wind whisper
featherlight between their joints and to roll with
a rollicking rattle-clack down desert streets.

Watch out! See them come? Poking through now:
here a scapula, there a patella and
by God, that's the rib spokes, sure!
They've shed at last that reptilian peeling;

they are full of
life, ready to dance
and to grin an ultimate Cheshire grin,
in the manner of all such skeletons.
Lisa Wong (1948-2010)
Seattle, WA
October, 1985