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  • Writer's pictureArden Young

An Ongoing Conversation by Carlin Wednesday

Photo Credit: Robin Jonathan Deutsch for Unsplash

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.

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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