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January 23, 2023


By Tony Gloeggler


I sit at the head
of the table now.
The funeral director
opens his book, shows
pictures of caskets,
flower arrangements, quotes,
prices. I turn pages, point,
nod. My mother chooses
a wool suit for him
to wear. "His favorite,"
my sister says twice.
It's navy blue,
like my catholic school
uniform. I remember
that first Monday morning
how he wiped a clear space
in the steamed-up mirror,
crouched behind me, knotted
my tie and splashed a bit
of Old Spice on my face.
There will be two days
to view the body
at Duden's funeral home
back in Brooklyn. Last Christmas,
I drove him to Midnight Mass.
When he asked me to come
inside, I coughed, said, "Dad,
you know I stopped believing
years ago." He grabbed
the door handle, answered,
"Not even tonight?"
I touched the radio knobs,
told him I'd be out front
by one. I drove halfway
down the block, stopped
and watched in the rear view
mirror, the way he gripped
the railing as he climbed
the steps carefully, paused
at the door and tried
to catch his breath.
Mass will be at St Lucy's,
ten o'clock, Tuesday morning.
Father Eugene will lead the service
and I will read the eulogy.

Article © Tony Gloeggler. All rights reserved.
Published on 2017-05-29
Image(s) are public domain.
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