My aunt had her moment on stage
at my uncle’s funeral.
Though distraught over his loss,
she clearly relished the limelight,
interjecting herself into his story,
regaling her fellow mourners with
rip-roaring, back-slapping tales of how
she and her friends flirted with
the football teammates he bench-pressed with
in the musty, partially finished basement of their childhood home.
It was a sorrowful day
but she beamed on that church altar
with the fading, burgundy carpeting,
with a pure, scintillating light that could not be dimmed.
Joseph S. Pete is a Pushcart Prize nominee and Lisagor Award winner who lives outside Chicago and served as an infantryman in Iraq.