I Couldn’t Throw Dirt on Your Casket
The rabbi floated like a magician.
Your casket we chose, bronze colored.
It was closed, as was the custom.
And at the grave, everyone took turns
shoveling some dirt onto your casket,
like a token gesture. I could not do it.
For me, it was like throwing dirt at you.
It dignified nothing. I’d throw a line of life,
not death. Who could say you wouldn’t know it?
Who could prove that the dead do not create
a force, distinguished on the particles felt
Donna J. Gelagotis Lee is the author of On the Altar of Greece, winner of the Seventh Annual Gival Press Poetry Award and recipient of a 2007 Eric Hoffer Book Award: Notable for Art Category. Her poetry has appeared in journals internationally, including The Bitter Oleander, Cimarron Review, The Cortland Review, Feminist Studies, and The Massachusetts Review. Her website is www.donnajgelagotislee.com.