Where You Want To Be

His brother had passed quietly
in a sterile room, cheaply tiled
with blue-flecked linoleum.
The rest of the week
was reserved for "arrangements"--
a word so vast in meaning
from flowers
to covering a casket with dirt
and letting go.

A card was passed around
in the break room at work.
People signed their names neatly
at the bottom of the encouraging words
penned and printed by strangers
thousands of miles away.
Most of us tucked a crumpled Twenty
into the envelope as well, though no one
checked to see if those who signed
The Honor System:
The Way It Should Be;
Often times different
from The Way It Is

like when you come to your job
on a Monday and have to pretend
that a touching exercise
in the form of a wad of cash
handed your way
can ever bring back
your brother again--
a lifetime chalked up
to a Hallmark you'll toss.

The Way It Is.

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