On the night we dug up your father’s body

(for reasons I can no longer remember)

we took turns with the shovel

as we passed a bottle of Whyte & Mackay

             back and forth.


You didn't say anything

until we opened his casket:

looking at his corpse you said,

“He’s smaller than I remembered”

and then walked away,

leaving the scotch and the shovel behind.


The next day,

when the police came to the apartment,

they didn't say anything—


even though we were covered in dirt

            and stunk of death.


After they left,

you made breakfast,

and we watched black-and-white movies

             until it was time to go to bed.

Bibliographical info

James Millhaven, "CLOSURE" from new & used. Copyright © 2017 by James Millhaven. Reprinted by permision of the publisher.

Source: new and used (Grey Borders Books, 2017)


Start here: