Last night I dreamed of the turtle mom–
So full of eggs and with her loving shell
Cracked down the middle.
A highway victim, she bravely lifted her head
As I drove past, in the other traffic lane.
Despite her stink, rescue I must.
She reeked of green Kickapoo mud.
Her smell embraced me like a wet dog.
Round eggs rolled out.
Blood and slime coated them, her, and my car.
At the river bank, I gave her a self-satisfied toss
To the moss green water far below.
But, she turned upside-down in mid flight
And caught on a branch,
Too far away for me to help again.
Face down in the water: unreachable, helpless.
Sighing, I drove away.
Thinking: “at least she will die in the water”.
Last night I dreamed of her–
Dug into the river bank,
Surrounded by growing young,
Looking up at me with a grateful smile.
THE BODY IN THE NEXT ROOM
So once again I envy the dead
Upon whom I work.
Is he at the shore,
Chatting with Charon,
Buying a seat on the ferry?
Or maybe he’s made the crossing
And is surrounded with dead friends and kin.
Personally, I’d pay extra
To land some place up river
Away from that crowd.
I don’t need to see
Some of those hungry eyes and outstretched palms again.
Like my ex-wife, and the kids, and the swarms of do-gooders.
I did as much for those jackals as they deserved in one go round.
I study the shape clothed beneath the sheet.
His dysfunctional kids
Lurk beneath his dried up features.
Hidden beneath the raccoon-like eyebrows,
Climbing the sharp peak of a nose,
Walking the thin ribbons of lips.
In my head, I already hear their cackling, greedy voices,
Slicing up his money, begrudging me mine.
At least the new embalming machine worked just fine.