Enough Time for a Ritual

Appeared in The Palestine Chronicle, May 23, 2022.

The day will come when we may mourn our dead.

Grieve our grief. Comfort one another.

And carry the coffin and the flag

In a solemn procession, wafting 

like a light cloud along the bowing 

palm trees and the cooing white pigeons.

And no one will stand in the way

     Of the dead.

No one will harass the casket

     Nor the dead

No one will deny the dead

     Her nightly ritual

She may take off the makeup and the paint

    For the last time.

And sooth her painful body with balm

    For the last time.

And comb out her hair

    For the last time.

And only when she is fully ready

She will 


Dress herself with a nightgown

And lay her fractured head

To rest

On an earthly cushion.

And in her mind

The slain lamb

She might survey her busy calendar

    And weep.

She might review the events 

    Of her final day

    And weep.

She might remember the sorrowful faces 

    Of the devoted, grieving crowd

    And weep.

She might simply weep


     She is given the extra time

     To weep.

And, eventually

When she has consumed the last drop of life

She will finally fall asleep.

        For the last time.