memaw’s service/funeral/whatever is tomorrow.
currently, memaw’s in an urn or something of the sort at my mother’s house.
i don’t want to go to the service.
now, before you get all judgy, lemme explain;
then it’s over.
for my entire life,
i have known my memaw and pepaw neil. they have loved me and always existed and been real.
and then pepaw died, and it was brutal hard, and i still cry every time i think of him,
but there was still memaw.
and i got to visit her on fridays.
i got to be a tall handsome man who spent time with her and i got to feel a little like pepaw.
truly, there is no higher honor
than to do or be anything like
lloyd houston neil
as the son of a mother who lost her mother,
i have been on the periphery of death.
i still got to go home and have my parents
and know i can still hear my mom accidentally use an overly-assertive tone before self-correcting
and my father’s snapping, breathy laugh when he talks about my daughter.
i cried the hardest
during all of this
flipping through a southern living in
the sun room of hospice care
when i realized one day
i will lose my mother, too.
i favor muted pastels (is that redundant?)
and lots of natural lighting
i hated the color palettes of the rooms
that issue of southern living labeled as
* * *
i will wake, eat enough food to function
no easy task with my metabolism
get the haircut i promised my mother i would get
at thirty three, we know by now to follow through on those promises
and pick out the shirt and tie i will wear as i read aloud a poem i wrote
and say goodbye (again) to memaw.
i guess that’s all.