When I die

When I die
by Monica Rose Yeoman

When I die
Carry me home

If I have no home
Take me to my mother’s

Walk me through the streets
Down the highways and byways and roads that I have loved

Up the hill behind our house
On fire in the month of May

Take me up the West Coast
Stopping in for sunset at the Karamea pub

Soak me in your tears as you go
Let our culture not contain this; your grief

When I die
Carry me home

Dress me in my favourite clothes
My togs if January has its way or a red dress in April

Lay me on the couch
And stroke my hair

Then pour yourselves some port
And for the rest of the week, just talk

Invite the neighbours in for a dinner party
Gather your old friends and new

Extend the welcome to your boss
Get him talking too

When I die
Carry me home

And speak to me of all that is beautiful
Cyclical, rare and Mundane

Celebrate my shining successes and recall the outrageous fiascos
Touch on our collective pain

Let me watch you making food in the kitchen
Pavalova with kiwi fruit on top and Grandma’s mince

Dad’s baked apples and rhubarb from the garden
Salad greens with caterpillars hiding
And banana beef curry

Tell me how you did that?
Please talk to me, talk to me, talk to me

When I die
Carry me home

Play tunes on my guitar
And dance madly around the living room to Eric Clapton’s Leila

Let the kids stay up past their bedtime
And climb all over me

Using my knees as hills for their diggers
Don’t make them hold back

Let them grab greedy handfuls of me
And fall asleep in my lap

When you know it’s time. And you’re ready
Turn my body into ash and seal me in jar beside the window or the bed

From there I will smile upon new memories being made
As our old conversations give rise to the new

I’ll watch the passing of seasons
And that light creeping in

As you raise your glass to the days that have been
And toast all that is yet to begin.

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