I hesitate. When do I start to grieve
What’s inevitable? My grandpa must
Lingers, false-toothless, since grandma believed
Them useless since he’d soon return to dust
We converge. A funeral procession
For the still-living. We converge, although
Instead of days, he has weeks. Correction,
Maybe months, weak and dying soft and slow.
Though each day is a stolen gasp of time,
We mourn, throw out an old man’s teeth too soon.
And in his death I see my own demise--
No more than dust, a crumbling family tomb.
And when the earth our aging ashes keep,
There’ll still be false teeth on a garbage heap.
Anna Zheng is a recent high school graduate from the Paideia School. She has been writing poetry and prose of varying quality since fifth grade, and occasionally succeeds in producing something she actually likes. She hopes to keep writing and publishing as she becomes an adult.