Scenes//Funeral Day
by Shalini Rana

Runestone, volume 4

Mom’s eyes: two craters sucked-
dry and
Her sari draped over
her head.

The priest
a devout puppeteer
chants Hindu prayer with
an aged lilt
and motions for my mother
to resume her role
in the ritual for
a dead child.

With hands trembling,
she does.

My brother’s nose: a butterscotch morsel
peeking from the black-boxed wood he lies in.
I weep, compose myself
and promise not to look

In a red wine room
stage left from where
family is giving speeches
a boy hollers out
from the base of his bones
and to the sunlit roof.


Virginia Tech

Shalini Rana is an Indian American poet from Vienna, Virginia. She is a graduating senior at Virginia Tech, where she studies creative writing and professional and technical writing. Her poetry appears in The PylonSilhouette, and Virginia’s Best Emerging Poets

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