Say Nothing But Good

by Stephen Scaer


We pulled your funeral off without a hitch.
Morticians had to spread a pound of wax
across your face to smooth away the cracks
that spilled your brains into a roadside ditch.
Your youngest child, the one you nicknamed “Bitch,”
described your death, revising awkward facts.
She said you called before God swung the axe,
“As if to say goodbye.” Oh, that was rich!
She didn’t mention how you begged for money
to head downtown to finish getting plastered
and rent a prostitute. It’s almost funny
how much we love you dead, and quite a show
we’ve put on in your memory, you bastard.
I wish we could have done this years ago.

Stephen Scaer of Nashua, NH, was the winner of the 2008 Howard Nemerov Competition and is the coordinator for The New England Shakespeare Festival Sonnet Contest. He is a special education teacher.