Bear the Pall – by Ed O’Casey

Your cloaked army gathers in ranks

behind us as we cross a sea of dead
grass, carrying you

from the hearse to Valhalla. The sails
burn quickly, the deck crumbles, leaves
a smoldering mast. Your smoke and legions

disperse; we rock in silence,
starboard to port, until all that remains

a vessel of ash.


Ed O’Casey studied at the University of North Texas and New Mexico State University. He is the author of the book Proximidad: A Mexican/American Memoir, and various other transformations that have appeared or are upcoming in Berkeley Poetry Review, Cold Mountain Review, Tulane Review, Euphony, Poetry Quarterly, Whiskey Island, and NANO Fiction. He lives in northern Wisconsin.