The bulwarks fall before us.
grandpas, grandmas, great Aunt Genevieve,
the olds ones who have earned their rests.
I shake Fathers hand, embrace Mother,
hear Uncle Normans attempt at
“lightening the moment”.
I kid Cousin Jeffefry in the parking lot
outside the wake,
while Cousin Gail laments
her babys tooth ache.
And then, surprise!
who has shared her pain with all of us,
an unexpected stroke
(is there any other kind?)
And Uncle Gabe “ain’t feelin’ so good”
and Mom, suddenly, it seems,
is limping and we have to yell so
Aunt Ethyl can hear us and then,
I attended, last week,
my college roomates funeral,
spoke from the podium,
said farewell to Joe, prematurely,
and I notice,
where I used to dig in our garden
six hours on Sundays and
have a normal Monday,
if I do it for two hours,
“Yes, Dear, I’m taking it easy!”
Monday morning comes bearing aches and pains
in places I knew not of.
Before us, the bulwarks fell.
Now, we are the bulwarks.