The Mundane

I wrote this while contemplating how shocking it is in the midst of grief to realize the world continues spinning even though it feels like it should stop with the passing of someone you love so much. The first time I experienced this was when my parents died and I stopped to get gas on my drive home–I almost couldn’t believe that the gas attendant didn’t know what had happened.


The mundane continues despite death,

like having to get gas at three o’clock in the morning after

your rotary phone rings to deliver

the message that your parents have died. You wonder

what the gas attendant thinks about you

and your puffy eyes. You wonder

if you should tell him: I have reason for crying—

my parents are dead. DEAD. But you realize

the wonder of the world continuing—phones

still ringing, gas still pumping, money

still exchanging—distracts you as you inhale

second-hand smoke, wishing you were high

and this were all a dream.

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