A Debt Repaid

I haven't decided if I'll go to my father's funeral.
It will require so many things; the purchase of a chic black dress,
Italian leather shoes and bag to match, a sophisticated hair style;
and there's the hat question; wide brimmed or pillbox with a veil?

I'll have to practice my walk down that aisle, not too much hip, past pews of relatives.
I know they'll watch to see if I dip my fingers in holy water,
genuflect, bow my head, carry a worn rosary laced through my fingers -
they'll look to see how tightly the beads are wound, if I kiss the cross.

And where to sit? Each seat seems too hard. Better I should stay home,
do laundry, than pay respect to a man who loved nothing. Absolutely nothing.
But I must be going; I've saved two half-dollars for years.
I stole them from him when I left home. That's what he always remembered.

I am the thief, the liar.
The one with no deeper thought in her head.
The one who would amount to nothing
but a whore on the street, counting the money of men.

I'll deposit his coins one by one in my new purse, walk straight on that marble floor,
pause for the slightest moment, still the gathering with a sharp laugh,
bend over his last bed, raise my manicured hand,
place those two silver pieces over his eyes, convince myself they will remain closed,
and on my father's judgement day, I will be judged.

Karen Masullo

Karen Masullo lives in Ohio and is a Certified Employment Training professional. Her publication credits include numerous online journals such as the Alsop Review's Octavo, Perihelion, Savoy Magazine, Tintern Abbey, Moveo Angelus, and The Melic Review. Her poem Revelation appears in the anthology, Every Woman Has a Story, edited and compiled by Daryl Ott Underhill and published by Warner Books. She has also been a featured reader of original work at The Greater Columbus Arts Festival for the past four years, and is featured on The Acme Poets website, and has work in the new issue of Avatar.

Back to Riding the Meridian