Angelo Maneage

Nanny got melted

and then put into a soapbox

displayed at the funeral service /      on our door

is a bird’s nest in the funeral wreath

we took home that fell off our door

on the ground     which is not where

birds belong /      on the ground

 

the priest was high

as grandpa was kneeling      wobbling

with his mom /      on the doorstep

two eggs were cracked

and a baby on the ground /      holding the urn

 

at the cemetery

the priest demanded my strength

blessed rather my might

and pointed me to grab the box from grandpa

 

at the cemetery      /

he held his mom

and breath      heavy

for a 91 year old /      the ground was not so deep

yet the pot was      planted clean

into the earth      by us and before

we wipe our knees      / we scrape the bird off

the ground and /      a soap plant buds

 

Angelo Maneage is a grocery clerk and 2017 recipient of the Academy of American Poets' Alberta Turner Poetry Prize. He has work on Hobart, in Sprung Formal, and around other places. He lives in Bedford, Ohio.