The Temporary Staging Area

A home for the recently departed
Where spirits mingle
And souls are wrangled
Walls of red-flocked paper
And black leather furniture
A coffer suggesting mourning
Framed comic book mortician humor
Hangs conspicuously about
Designed to stave off tears
But tear showers still down pour
So Kleenex lives close by
Just in case
The mortician's skin ashen grey
With almost pure white hair
Tussled with intent
Conducting an orchestra of grief
His baton raised in perfect timing
Costumed impeccably, all in black
Preening a three piece designer suit
Mother loved a man in uniform
Monetizing loss for sale
A remembrance card
With a thirty plus year old picture
Her beauty in full bloom
The backside
A four-line poem
From her daughter’s cache
Mother’s favorite
A plain black guest book
Simple yet classy
A pictorial review of her life
Framed for easy display
The flowers her favorites
White Orchids and Mums
Pink Roses sprinkled throughout
Displayed in abundance
The perfect backdrop
For her final cocoon
She loved center stage
The luncheon post service
From her favorite take out
Croissant sandwiches cut in half
And multiple side salads
With the requisite lemon bars
Soothed by a string quartet
The coffin
Her final home
Polished oak with clean lines
Bright red silk encrusted
Her favorite color
A theatrical addition
That the grief stricken might write
Messages of love
On the coffin
A 1960’s love van reinvented
Much to the mortician’s distain
He reluctantly agrees to the ritual
Bright colored ink pens
Become part of the celebration
As friends line up out the door
Waiting for the chance to say farewell
With a permanent magic marker
Her private world
Always dressing for the day
Donning make-up
Freshly styled hair
Wearing the latest fashion
Declaring when one feels lousy
One must look their best
To transcend the dark
Her hair softly curled
Sprinkled with grey
No need for heavy make-up
Not a wrinkle on her face
Leaving little to be done
The mortician’s fashion decree
Earrings must not dangle
But lay close to her ears
Did she have a red red lipstick?
Yes a favorite
She applied
Sans mirror
A practice to show her independence
Clothes are well chosen
An Asian style black silk
Two piece pantsuit
With appliquéd oriental red flowers
Compliment the bright red silk interior
Beauty always her cause
Jewelry in bounty
Covers her chest
With fingers wearing multiple rings
A turquoise laden watch
Adorns her wrist
The drum rolling coup de gras
Her red patent leather
Four-inch heeled shoes
Not worn for many years
Making their reappearance
The perfect fantasy adornment
The final act
The obituary
Filled with fine accomplishments
The eulogy
Filled with fond memories
As tears flow once more
Knowing there are no more days
To shop the latest trends
To enjoy a leisurely drive
To share a late late lunch
In a favorite restaurant
Where secret yearnings are confessed
And war-torn fears float on by....