rachel bunting



women at your father's funeral

Your father’s mouth is closed
now, sewn shut the way it

should be. He won’t speak
to anyone again, and the women

who press kisses against your cheek
now know their dark secrets will simmer

in the shadows. Your mother smiles
at them. She touches the women’s shoulders,

wraps her fingers around theirs –
this one from church, that one from work,

still another from the Wednesday evening
music class he’d taken after discovering

his old trombone in the basement.
She welcomes them all, vulnerable

as a turtle stuck on its back, soft side up.
Still, there is nothing left to say about it –

what good is it to accuse a dead man,
the one who taught you how to tie

a square knot, how to open a beer,
how to be liar and father at once?

Rachel Bunting is a born and bred South Jersey girl who lives between the Delaware River and the Pine Barrens. Her poems can be found in Mad Poets Review, US1 Worksheets, Apple Valley Review, Thick With Conviction and Wicked Alice, among other places. She can mostly be described in verbs and nouns: likes sushi, gets acupuncture, writes poems. Her first chapbook, Ripe Again, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.



back to issue 1

take me home