5 POEMS by N. B. Turner

Punk Noir Magazine

Grandfather’s Funeral

I was drunk 

The morning they buried

My grandfather.

Miles and miles

Separated me

From the corpse. 

The soul long gone,

I saw no point in the body.

So that night I laughed and sang 

With friendly strangers,

Forgetting to remember 

The newly dead.

But I had 

Remembered him

The day before:

Sobbing and gut-punched, 

Feeling sick with loss.

I remembered him,

Two days prior:

Streaking through the night,

For one more look, 

One more word,

And hearing halfway that

He was gone.

I had forgotten him

As he lay dying:

When I stopped for a 

Phone call,

When I took a

meaningless meeting 

And, when he was well

Or early in his sickness,

All the times I refused

To see him.

I had forgotten

So often

Remembering

Was painful.

So, I was drunk

And far away

When my family 

Buried him.

Two years late,

I came to him.

I cried on his grave,

Sober, gladly hurting.

I finally told him sorry,

And asked forgiveness

For taking so long 

to come see him.

N.B. Turner is a writer living in Virginia, remembering and trying to honor his time growing up along the Great Lakes. He’s published short fiction in Hoosier NoirShotgun Honey, and Rock and A Hard Place Magazine, as well as poetry in The Daily Drunk and Punk Noir.  You can follow him on Twitter at @NathanTurner15.