Wild Goose Poetry Review

Contemporary Poetry, Reviews, and Commentary

Russell Rowland, Newspaper Obituary

with 4 comments

Russell Rowland
NEWSPAPER OBITUARY

died Saturday, surrounded by

You had me surrounded. Oh my god:
no opening in the circle, no escape
back into health. For the death of me,
I’m not convinced that even a segment
of your lachrymose circumference
loved me as much as the obituary claims.

after a brave battle with

I did not battle, and I was not brave.
I submitted, in fear and trembling, to
all the incomprehensible, polysyllabic
diagnoses, the poisonings, irradiations.
You just assumed it was heroism—so
you wouldn’t need to be strong for me.

predeceased by

Fine word. The bastard beat me to it.
He left me without important papers,
without any chance to forgive and be
forgiven—left me bodily, having left
ages ago in spirit. His legacy includes
a dent in sofa cushions. A hair stain.

In lieu of flowers

Don’t mock me with flowers. Give
to The Society for the Prevention of
Upstaging the Corpse. Flowers betrayed
me all my life into believing there is joy
forever, eternal renewal. Don’t you dare
contact the florist. Let me rot in peace.

Author’s Comment: The poem imagines a woman of strong character, reacting posthumously (and with bitterness) to the sugarcoated obituary her survivors have prepared.

Written by wildgoosepoetryreview

November 15, 2013 at 2:06 am

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. I truly love this. I imagine if those we have lost could talk to us now, they would say…why did you only remember me when I left this consciousness. Excellent poem ! It stirs my emotions.

    Staci Lynn Bell

    November 18, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    • Thanks for the kind words. Also welcome any suggestions for making the poem better!

      Russell Rowland

      November 22, 2013 at 1:03 am

  2. So creative! Enjoyed it!

    patricia deaton

    November 19, 2013 at 2:31 pm

  3. Russell, I wouldn’t consider trying to make this poem “better.” It is better as is – a good one in all ways.

    Maren O. Mitchell

    December 3, 2013 at 1:01 am


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