Good Friday with No Easter: Roy Bentley’s Poem After a Death in a World of Dying

The slow sacraments of hardboiled human biology
and the butchery ordained in velveteen waistcoats.
The stenchy, unnatural criminalities revealed daily.
If lives were water, we’d love gradual expansion
or develop something like crocodile halotolerance
for what might just function for us but hasn’t as yet.
And though lives aren’t water, who doesn’t crave
the vertical razzmatazz of extension and upsurge,
a madcap theatrics the planet endorses routinely.

Mother left Kentucky to marry and settle in Ohio
with a man from the same small town in Kentucky.
Wherever light pours in, our lives are rooms. Houses
with spring yards and kids with Christmas-toy shovels,
sweatered kids deepening hard earth with both hands.
She died on Good Friday. And forget the lie of Easter,
the dead being as lifeless as stones forever. Some lives
end quietly and without benefit of clergy. Some of us
walk on the Moon and plant flags. American flags.

Roy Bentley About Roy Bentley

Roy Bentley is the author of Boy in a Boat (University of Alabama Press), Any One Man (Bottom Dog Books), The Trouble with a Short Horse in Montana (White Pine Press), and Starlight Taxi (Lynx House Press). A new book, Walking with Eve in the Loved City, has been selected by Billy Collins as a finalist for the 2018 Miller Williams Poetry Prize and will be publlshed in the spring of 2018 by the University of Arkansas Press. Work from that collection has appeared in Shenandoah, Pleiades, Rattle, Blackbird, The Southern Review, and elsewhere.

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