National Poetry Month Day 23: “Pre-Need” by Stacey Lynn Brown



In the same
cemetery where
Uncle Remus lies,
my father’s crypt
awaits, his mother,
father, sister already
lined up like cutlery
in drawers. The last
time I was there, we
didn’t so much bury
as insert the body
of my aunt like mail
into the waiting slot
below The Old
Man and his wife,
missives to be filed

Not that the posed
bonescatter beneath
the dirt is any less
unsettling, but soil
at least hums, teeming
with life. These stone
cabinets stand stoic,
waiting to receive,
my parents’ end
parentheses. Card
catalog with body
of work, with bodies
unworking. Velvet-
lined jewelry box.
Night deposit to be
made where the marble-
cooled family bones
in residence abide.


Stacey Lynn Brown is a poet, playwright, and essayist from Atlanta, Georgia. She is the author of the book-length poem Cradle Song and is the co-editor, with Oliver de la Paz, of A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry. She teaches creative writing at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →