He’s 83 today but looks younger in his black suit. I whisper
to him and play with the fingers that respond unnaturally.
His closed lids make me wonder if his eyes are still in there.

For three days he lays in view of 60 empty chairs.

My brother comes by with his wife. I come by with a friend.
Ma sits the whole time expecting a full house. Grandma comes
by for awhile. One sister is sick and stays away, so Ma writes
her name in the guest book and adds a ‘Dr.’ for good measure.

The funeral home minister gives a quick eulogy and the book to Ma.
They usher us out and wheel him out behind us. The two limousine
drivers are anxious to get the show on the road.

I help slide him into the hearse when it sinks in for the first time.

Dad Is Dead.