Shining The Spotlight on: Elizabeth Alford

Spot 5

The First Funeral

I can’t quite remember his smell.
My grandfather never smoked or wore
cologne, and the funeral home

surely gave him an extra spritz
of perfume that day. But my nose
was too young, too inexperienced,

and above all too far from the casket
to notice any difference from the usual
old-people smell he always carried

around with him—stubbornly, like
an old pocket watch. Nobody uses
those anymore. There were a lot

of old people, actually, at the funeral.
A lifetime of friends, the slow—or
rapid—dwindle to a handful; how

painful that must be. How much
more painful than death? I heard
he went easily, in his sleep. I wish

I still had the Mickey Mouse puppet
he gave me for my birthday. During
the service, I held Mickey in my arms

and squeezed my eyes tight, missing
the big, warm, wrinkled hand
that used to bring him to life.

© Elizabeth Alford 12/6/15

Featured Writer from “Creative Talents Unleashed Writers Group”
MicroPoetry Challenge.

Photo Credit: © Donna Sanders

Categories: Featured Writer's

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