I Buried My Father Twice
For a second I thought I heard singing, the middle-aged voices of the Lutheran church choir, the familiar hymns from my father’s second
funeral, the one with a corpse, solid as wax, displayed in an open casket as evidence that we really meant it this time, this was no
exercise. Melting glaciers reveal missing people but he was not among the found. For 13 years we searched the river’s edge, pool hall alley-
ways, the basement of his first wife’s house, dental records and diary entries but there was nothing to unearth, not a shred of clothing
or bone fragment to fill the pine box. For a second I thought I heard singing, the collected voices from six school musicals, Mendelssohn’s
wedding march on the day I walked my sister down the aisle, the crystal bell cries at his third grand-child’s baptism, but it was the telephone
ringing at 3 am, my father’s voice from his first empty grave, I got lost he said, but now I’ve come back home, where are you, where did everybody go?
Beth Gordon is a writer who has been landlocked in St. Louis, Missouri for 16 years but dreams of oceans daily. Her work has recently appeared in Quail Bell, Into the Void, Calamus Journal, Five:2:One, and others. Twitter: @bethgordonpoet.