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  Afternoon at the Funeral Home
 

Afternoon at the Funeral HomeHis feet shuffled the dust, pushed wood shavings into fans.

Bent over the paint-stained workbench, he spun the vice,

the spoon-shaped handle, clamped its nickel jaws on a table leg.

Epoxy oozed from a lion’s paw.

While it dried, we washed the fleet: Buick, hearse, and limousine,

soaped them, scrubbed their tires with wire brushes, buffed the chrome.

The hose filled and lurched. The gutter bubbled.

I fed the calf-cloth through twin wringers.

I squeezed over a tin basin that reeked of turpentine. 

Rainbows glistened in the oil.

 
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—Jen Bryant (Originally published in Mobius)
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