After my father’s eulogy,

which approached me in a dream the night before his funeral as an address,

trying to sell me word bags of reassurance that, when you shook them,

sounded like a typical father’s gift you might find on a snow-covered street

and stuffed in a stocking such as a bag of nuts or pretzel bites,

a friend of the family and long-time coworker of my father approached me

in the funeral parlor

and thanked me for the talent she said I got from him,

which, according to her, was reassuring and motivating others

during the most hopeless of times,

an observation I won’t disagree with,

as it seems I’ve always been able to fake a bowl-full of chocolate-covered realism

whenever the starkest atmosphere called for something sweet and sour.

And you know, I kind of like how easy it is for me to do that dark singing,

where some others might prefer to leave the room and wait in the lobby

until the words stop.

I’m not sure why I like it, I tell the understanding wife getting dressed in my head,

but I think it might have something to do with loving how it feels to know

there’s a song only I can sing, and do practically on my back, with my hands crossed

and my eyes and mouth closed.

Author: Chris Russell

Chris Russell holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives in Concord, New Hampshire where he follows two paths: a calling as a poet, and an altruistic vocation as an education support professional.

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