The obituaries from Kansas

In my small seacoast town in New Hampshire,
I read the local newspaper.
Not long ago it become part
of a national chain of news providers.

It’s Sunday morning and I’m a pastor.
and so in these last few pajamas moments
I am looking for two things –
prayerworthy news, local and beyond,
and the comics to help me
begin this holy day laughing.

But every day I read the obituaries,
because it seems like – big family or small,
tragedy of a young death,
or tragedy of an older death,
with no one left to mourn –
someone should honor
these small printed stories,
and it might as well be me.

But today, the paper made a mistake
and switched local deaths
with obituaries from Kansas,
I forget what town.
I fold up my newspaper
and go upstairs to dress for church.

The greatest tragedy of all –
at its depth, is my human lack
of grieving or loving someone different –
color of skin, native language,
gender identity, expression,
sexual orientation, religious faith,
person with a disability,
person with dementia,
person with an addiction,
or different political opinions,
or a record of incarceration –

Today I did not pause for the stories
of some people from Kansas,
so begins the heartlessness of the world.

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3 Responses to The obituaries from Kansas

  1. rezrevres says:

    Interesting how the concentralization of a corporate megalith only serves to move error to a somewhat larger geographic scale. Somewhere in Kansas is a community that now can’t properly grieve their dead, yet I can’t help but wonder if they’re not also puzzling over the obituaries for Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

  2. no words, powerful- and powerless all in same thank you Maren always…

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