Monarch in the Urn
Tadpoles bellied-up as she drifted downstream,
a fragment catching on some wayward twigs.
My sister, still a child beneath the gray,
handed out clumsily crayoned Easter cards
to the few attendees—
all of us planted like vertical fossils
in the red Utah sand, ear pairs attentive
to a friend’s slender-without-being-vacuous eulogy
which deserved a solid B, B+ maybe, considering
the inevitable paranoias which remained
obedient spaniels at our feet. Everyone spoke.
Someone from the half who loved Jesus
offered a prayer—
Heavenly Father something or other…
No one brought food.
Marilee Richards is the 2016 winner of the Asheville Poetry Review William Matthews Poetry Prize.