Coffins Side-by-Side

            I felt a funeral in my brain—Emily Dickinson

bumble bees fly one flower to the next
a familiar family tradition, three—punctual,
one, two—then the third falls. Triple equals
lethargy, loneliness—fated family archives

our Bible of Tradition these sets of three—
a fall, a stroke, a misstep off the last rung
of a ladder, the drop from sky to earth.
Burials, gravestones, arrangements—

adults attend—children stand on the side
sentient, dressed in black, they watch
the book fill with names, arms of men
around men—a tear fountain—

till the well dries, my father’s funeral
an explosion in my brain. Father died
second, the day after Grandmother
we waited for the third—knelt at

a hole in the earth—people die
in threes—like dominoes—fall black
and white into earth, one-two-three
they fall—the brain numb, eyes wet,

heart a bee sting—arms stretch one
shoulder to the next. The book fills—
the carpeted hallway a quiet place—
whispers, tears, a coffin in a room—

in the next room, another coffin—
dedication to the Tremendous world
death—constant multiples of three by
three by three—nettled with heart-sting

Julene Tripp Weaver is a psychotherapist and writer in Seattle, WA. Her latest poetry book, truth be bold—Serenading Life & Death in the Age of AIDS, was a Finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards and won the Bisexual Book Award. Her work is online at The Seattle Review of Books, HIV Here & Now, Voices in the Wind, antinarrative journal, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Writing In A Woman’s Voice. You can find more of her writing at

This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Coffins Side-by-Side

  1. Pingback: Poeming Pigeon “In The News”—Portland Bound!! – Julene Tripp Weaver

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.