“Easing onto the Shoulder” by Kevin Grauke

Memory Haunts Memory by Edward Lee

Every driver would pull over to let them pass,
the creeping cars of funeral processions back then,
back when I sat unbuckled behind Mom,
still too small for my feet to reach her seat.

With daytime headlights blazing in a chain,
solemn corteges trailed stately black hearses
as they rolled undisturbed through intersections,
ignoring every red on their way to the grave.

Without a word, Mom shut off the radio,
leaving us to sit in silence, reverent to the dead.
But today, there’s no such solemn stillness,  
no more easing over to let the passed pass by.

The caravans to the cemetery do still run,
but they do so invisibly, broken into pieces.
Unaware, we’re now part of every death train,
escorting every casket to its cool, dark hole—
including our own, which leads the slowest parade.


Kevin Grauke has published work in such places as The Threepenny Review, The Southern Review, Bayou, Quarterly West, and Cimarron Review. He is also the author of Shadows of Men (Queen’s Ferry), winner of the Steven Turner Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. He teaches at La Salle University in Philadelphia.

Edward Lee is an artist and writer from Ireland. His paintings and photography have been exhibited widely, while his poetry, short stories, non-fiction have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen and Smiths Knoll.  He is currently working on two photography collections: Lying Down With The Dead and There Is A Beauty In Broken Things. He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Orson Carroll, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy. His blog/website can be found at https://edwardmlee.wordpress.com.