Elegy for a Eulogy

by Cindy King

You asked me to deliver the eulogy
at Dad’s memorial service
to spare the survivors of our family
the mortifying prospect of public speaking.
For five hours, I have flown above earth,
wordlessly, over Great Plains and Rocky Mountains.
Under a moon of reading light, I have learned
why no one ever calls it a light by which to write.
I have failed the galaxy, didn’t listen to the stars.

I would have rather bought more lilies
than to say what I remember,
brought another noodle casserole.
Let me rummage instead through your pantry, Mom,
tear wild violets from your yard.
But please, don’t ask me to see him from a distance,
to view him with a naked eye, to show
him as a moon, without blemish,
free of rilles, scars, dark sides.

Cindy King is the author of Zoonotic (Tinderbox Editions, 2022), Lesser Birds of Paradise (Southeastern Louisiana State University Press, 2022), and Easy Street (Dancing Girl Press, 2021). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Sun, The Threepenny Review, North American Review, Prairie Schooner, Gettysburg Review, Cincinnati Review, and elsewhere. She currently lives in Utah, where she is an assistant professor of creative writing at Utah Tech University and faculty editor of Route 7 Review and The Southern Quill. She also enjoys screening scripts for The Blank Theatre in Hollywood, CA.