Four pallbearers carried Mother’s coffin to the
graveside. They struggled valiantly under the
weight. Father and I stood beside the yawning
hole in the ground, and brushed rainwater out of
our eyes. A portly priest waited, clutching his bible,
wearing an appropriately grave face. There was
a scattering of unknown mourners. I thought it
sad. Mother had known only a handful of people.
The priest commenced a dry, burbling oration.
I’d heard all these words before. When earth was
cast onto Mother’s coffin, I felt sick. I could feel
Father crumbling beside me. She was gone.


Author: Robert James Berry

Poet & Novelist