The Aftermath, a Final Poem for Alice

by G. Tod Slone (April 2019)

The Dead Mother, Edvard Munch, 1893


Twas a nice birthday at one hundred

twas not so at one hundred and one

Plenty of cake, wine, and the twins

then the get-togethers were no more


No more telephone calls from Alice

Tod, do you want some chicken soup?

don’t forget to bring your own pot!

Now and then I was able to say hi

walking over with her son Rob

there she was supine, though sat up

thin as a rail, ah, but she recognized me


And then a week of morphine and

on New Year’s Eve she passed

and then the aftermath

Alice was now gone

And the big truck from New Bedford

already at her house to take away

the special hospice bed

And then, and then what to do

with all her things, so many papers

(she’d saved everything and anything)

into the garbage, down to the dump

and who gets this, and who gets that

and the relatives down from Merrimack

where once upon a time Alice on a farm

and the phone calls to inform the world

of her demise, departure, and disappearance

and her grand-daughter, Tracy, sad, and

her daughter-in-law, Joanne, no longer mad


And Alice already incinerated—

ashes to ashes soon to be shipped to Ontario

It had been quite some time now

since I’d eaten her tasty oatmeal cookies,

sipped tea with her, cleaned her windows,

hosed down her screens, raked up her leaves,

and pruned her beloved rose bushes

(I used to have so many roses up in Canada,

she’d said with a touch of nostalgia)


And we come, we go; and Alice came, Alice went . . .



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G. Tod Slone, PhD, lives on Cape Cod, where he was permanently banned in 2012 without warning or due process from Sturgis Library, one of the very oldest in the country. His civil rights are being denied today because he is not permitted to attend any cultural or political events held at his neighborhood library. The only stated reason for the banning was “for the safety of the staff and public.” He has no criminal record at all and has never made a threat. His real crime was that he challenged, in writing, the library’s “collection development” mission that stated “libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view.” His point of view was somehow not part of “all points of view.” He is a dissident poet/writer/cartoonist and editor of The American Dissident.

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