James Brown was buried
in a solid gold casket.
I’m surprised he had
that kind of cash,
that he hadn’t spent it
as it came.
So he had a widow, I say
when you tell me this fact.
Although, he could have
made the decision himself.
Buried like a pharaoh,
I say out loud.
All the men in my family
got more expensive caskets
than the women, when they died first.
I’ve seen the records and made note.
My great grandfather’s tombstone
bears his photographic likeness
in ceramic, his wife lies quietly
beside him, faceless,
her tombstone suitably shorter.
Her maiden daughter’s smaller still,
her son, who was shot in church
over a hound dog,
lies with his brother
who died at birth,
in the old cemetery
where the wind stirs the aspen,
most of the head stones broken,
most of the graves
marked by bricks
and rocks.