I remember the weight of the wood and the body in the box
when it was my turn to be a carrier, front left,
and a gasp as the coffin rested on my shoulder,
heavy but not as heavy as the burden of grieving,
a brother's short life, too soon to be leaving.
First coffin lift in thirty-seven years, same weight,
this time back right, similar uncontrollable gasp,
a cutting pain deep into my bones, just as heavy,
but not as heavy as the heartache, the burden of grieving,
a mother's long life, too soon to be leaving.