Ross White

The Skunk

In the grieving house,
the hot water tap runs cold.
The mice quiet.
Shoes in neat pairs in the top dresser drawer.
No one comes home for dinner.
Incandescents burn in the sitting room,
fluorescents switched off by the porch.

Dying appears sometimes as a dark man
on skis, a racing inevitability,
and sometimes as the spider Anansi.
But now, it is the skunk.

In the grieving house,
the air tamps down.
The kitchen smells like cedar.
The foyer smells like cedar.
The bedroom smells like cedar.