May 28, 1981


After we buried my father, your husband

Your cronies came to your house

They were your friends, your colleagues

None of them had ever met my father, your husband


I served the coffee and offered up cookies.

Passed out napkins.

Playing the grieving but dutiful daughter

Made the smallest of small talk.

Slipped outside to partake of medicinal herb


There was chatter and laughter and camaraderie.

You carted out that open-faced social persona

Reserved for company.

Rarely seen by family. No. Make that never.

You were the belle of ball

The Grand Dame

Basking in the attention

Delighting in the distraction


How odd

The very reason for the gathering--

My father, your husband--

Was never mentioned.


Rebecca Duncan