by Matthew Tyson

sit down, son
your mother has passed.
we don’t know much
but it looks like
her heart just
gave out.

it was quick and peaceful.
not much else you can
ask for

i’m sure you have questions
and things you’ll want to do
but for now
just sit
sit with you father
he’s too old to care for himself
but he knows what’s happening

y’all sit.

let the family fulfill the
one obligation
required by
blood relatives
your aunts will bring
casseroles and
fried chicken platters
let your uncle bother with the yard
and your cousins can
pick up around the house
i’ll call your nieces to see if they’ll
manage the laundry.

but for you
for now
just sit

and once the chores are done
and there’s no more work to do
we’ll all sit with you too

a few folks from work
may want to stop by
try not to ask about what’s
happening at the office
later, some buddies will bring you liquor
but the preacher will
probably pop in and
sit for a while, too
so keep that in mind

we can turn the tv on
for background noise
and even though you don’t have to
you can get up
and go to the other room to cry

there’s nowhere else to go right now
nothing you need to make a fuss over
we’ll sit here until you’re ready

it’s what we do


Matthew Tyson was born, raised and resides in Calhoun County, Alabama. He currently lives in Anniston, where he works as a writer/blogger and marketing strategist for WideNet Consulting. He also authors “The Mackerel Snapper” on the Patheos Catholic channel. 

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Gardening Me
  • Marie Kilpatrick / April 14, 2019

    Matthew, you make me proud! I love reading your work and the emotions your words evoke. Thank you for sharing your impressive talent!

  • Alarie Tennille / April 15, 2019

    Lovely poem. It brings back memories of my mother’s sudden death before my father, too, but it also brings back memories of how friends and family buoyed us up above the despair.