Rites of Disposal

When I’m finally done, when all
my smoldering embers go cold, put me away.
Clean me up, straighten me out, and put me in my box.

Take it up to that green landfill
where they dump such things
and label them with cut stones.
Find me a plot, dig me a hole.
Sow me deep like a pumpkin seed
that you don’t want to grow.
Cover me there with earth by the yard,
and if you must speak, be brief.

If it were up to me (and it won’t be)
I’d rather not end up there.
Just pay the man who runs the oven,
he’ll fire me down till I fit in a box for baby shoes.
When you get the box back (hoping the contents are mine),
put it on the mantle with old photos and Christmas stockings.
If that’s how you like me, be careful not to spill me,
or if you’d like to toss me out the back door
or off some hill somewhere, it’s just as well.

But when I look forward to my end,
it’s hard to think of me not hanging around somehow
(after all I’ve been around as long as I can recall).
And when I think of that day,
I’d sooner see me roasting over an open fire,
all the smoke and gas of the sticks and me
commingling and wafting up into the air
on the wings of a flame,
a handful of friends and family
singing campfire songs,
but if you fear I’ll smell too much like bacon,
and you’re not sure how you’ll handle the temptation,

There are wings to take me that are not made of flame.
Haul me up to that mountain top, high above the sunset,
where we go to meet the condors. Lay me down
under the sun, and go on home, but before you do,
bid our broad-winged friends a bon appétit, and please
do remind them, you are who you eat.

© 2016 Kaweah