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An Ongoing Conversation

Carlin Wednesday

I do not do well with surprises
so my mother and I discuss our funerals
in the shade of the rotting front porch
which keeps making the budget for next year.
We are not gentle with each other.
I know which friend will arrive to destroy
the evidence of her indiscretions,
and which hymn is allowed to be sung.
Where the money for the burn is coming from, and
which papers the news won’t need publishing in. Her
grandmother asked for a baby blue casket lining
which was vetoed by someone with more taste than
sense, so I’ll need to stay vigilant.
I give her the updated folder of passwords
and usernames that will be her guide
to breaking the news to those online friends
of mine my mother tries to keep up with.
We agree she won’t be the first to look
inside my windows, and I ask to go casketless if
anyone in town is zoned for it at the time. We buy
each other books of obituaries for practice, as if we
have hope of being prepared, we prepare.

About the Author

Carlin Wednesday is a multi-genre writer and needlepoint artist. An alumna of Mt. Holyoke College, they currently live in the Midwest, where they work with prospective retirees. They can be found on Twitter @threesnakeleave.

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