Saturday, June 18, 2022

What Do You Think She Was Thinking Right Then?

Her classmates were invited
To her mother’s funeral,
And the school arranged a van

For the ten of them that came,
Not including her best friends
Who came with their families.

For those bare acquaintances—
Who got dressed as somberly
As adolescence allowed,

Greys, moss-greens, black skirts or brown,
Winter coats against the rain,
Their young eyes mostly cast down—

Attending a funeral
Was a wholly novel thing,
Depressing, fascinating,

For the few not Catholics.
The service was a cold blur

In a cold and sad, dark church,
And afterward, riding back
To the girls’ dorm, they whispered,

So the driver wouldn’t hear,
About the sight that struck them,
Struck each of them in some way,

Just as the procession left
The church, right behind the hearse,
Ann’s small face in a window

Staring wanly back at them
Through the rain, with that blankness
Of expression that made them

Wonder if their hesitant
Waves were wrong, if she even
Noticed them. Poor Ann. Poor thing.

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