Funerals from Afar by Sarah B. Sullivan

Sarah Sullivan, a member of Straw Dog Writers Guild and resident of Northampton, MA in Hampshire County, is a poet, physician, teacher, ocean-lover, partner, parent, friend, meditator, searcher. She is published in several journals and anthologies. Her most recent chapbook is Somewhere There is Always Enough. Her website is

Funerals from Afar

In the shelved death-piles–
stacks we try to honor

from fifty yards away
in cars across graveyards—

people we know—
we knew—are frozen.

Who nails their coffins?
Who tosses the dirt?

And when do we find peace?
When we stop trying to breathe,

when we stop breathing,
when the box combusts?

When the coffin rests six feet below?
When the sprinkled grass seed begins to grow?

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