Blue suit, pressed

white shirt, red tie,

trimmed hair,

camouflaged lump

where the bullet

went in.


Mourners follow

the tearful track,

mother leaning

on father’s long arm,

siblings swamped

by the stark face

of death, young

men in dreads

as he would have been,

friends of the family,

one by one.


The church fills

with gray winter light,

dissolving faces

like spirits in air;

the color of grief is

the same everywhere.


There is no anger,

no vengeance in sight,

just acceptance,

defeat, despair.


Mary Hills Kuck

Having retired from teaching English and Communications, first in the US and for many years in Jamaica, Mary Kuck now lives with her family in Massachusetts. She has received a Pushcart Prize Nomination and her poems have appeared in Connecticut River Review, Hamden Chronicle, SIMUL: Lutheran Voices in Poetry, Caduceus, The Jamaica Observer Bookends, Fire Stick: A Collection of New & Established Caribbean Poets, the Aurorean, Tipton Poetry Journal, Slant and Main St. Rag (both forthcoming), and others.

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