someone you love has just died

but there is no time for tears.

You ought to be eating ice cream on the kitchen floor,

surrounded by crunched up Kleenex,

but you’re swimming in a sea of papers instead.


someone you love has just died—

now call strangers, the government, charities

and tell them so.

Accept scores of condolences

from people with calm voices.

Thank them politely

and get on with business.


someone you love has just died.

Pay the bills,

plan the funeral

plan the burial

plan the epitaph.

Capture in two lines

the life of someone you love

who has just died.


where are your tears?

4 thoughts on “Executor

  1. Waverlea

    Tears will come when you least expect it, a sudden flash of memory and the soft flow of tears will soothe your aching soul. Wrapping up a life through the flood of paperwork is a very hard but devoted way to help a soul become free to fly to the beyond.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Roberta Cottam

    This is one of my all time favourites, Anna. So powerful, I hope this poem will find its way into many publications. It speaks so truthfully to the business of death … some of us get to execute these actions while our loved one is still here. Some of us execute these actions, alone, after they’ve left. Either way, it’s a painful pull on our time and energy. I also find it challenging (oh, so challenging!) to be in mourning while parenting. And I know you know that journey well, and informs your way of being in the world. These days, Jericho Brown helps me make sense of things. Thank you for writing as you do….I love you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ❤️✨❤️✨❤️
      Thank you Roberta! I’m glad it spoke to you! Feels important somehow to document this difficult process that so many people must go though…
      Love you, too! And please thank your girls for their lovely art they sent me! So special.


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