For a while, after a funeral

by Richard Jordan

For a while, after a funeral

every little thing becomes a sign: a breeze out of nowhere that lifts cobwebs and rustles the drapes, a lone beep of the smoke detector in the middle of the night, even the pregnant silence that follows. These are meaningful messages from beyond, evidence that life isn’t lost to darkness but continues with, say, mysteriously clinking utensils in the sink. We wish to believe the departed speaks through such oddities. That mellow ‘70s song we’ve been thinking of for hours, the one we’re amazed we’re still able to sing by heart—listen, it just came on the oldies station. Someday again we’ll allow for coincidence. Not yet though. For now, it must be love.


This poem received second place in our 2024 Spring Short Competition.

Richard Jordan’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Rattle, Valparaiso Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, Sugar House Review, Tar River Poetry, Connecticut River Review, Cider Press Review, The Midwest Quarterly, Little Patuxent Review, and elsewhere. His chapbook, The Squannacook at Dawn, won the 2023 Poetry Box Chapbook Contest.

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