Brane and Ellie quietly hold
her mother’s ashes
until conditions make way
for a small ceremonial burying,
the urn to be housed
alongside her father’s coffin
in a Long Island family plot.
A gathering of friends and family.
I found my son
face down on the living room floor.
I fuss at him
each time I clean the damned litterbox
of the cat he left behind.
Older calico lost her human.
Currently cared for
by original owner’s mother.
Will you be the one
to make the arrangements?
Decide what mode and when?
Will you sort through clothes,
puzzle over passwords,
notify banks, post offices, friends,
With all tomorrow’s dreams broken,
with unpaid bills, unanswered mail,
and all the tears you haven’t shed,
will you feed the cat?
B. Lynne Zika, a long-term closed-captioning editor, is an award-winning poet and photographer. Her recent book, The Strange Case of Eddy Whitfield, multiformat, is available through standard booksellers. Her father, also a writer/poet, bequeathed her this advice: Make every word count.