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 . . .
 
 

__________________________________
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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