A Little Prelude to Death

Jennifer Lagier

Jessie is 90, hobbled to a walker
since falling, breaking her hip.
In her garden, a collage of anti-war posters.
On the doorstep, a life-size, cardboard cutout
of naked George W. Bush.
A sign covering his crotch reads:
“The Emperor Has No Clothes.”

She has discarded two useless “wasbands,”
lost a third to cancer, now lives on her own.
Raises herbs, hyacinths, hell.
Quotes poetry while filing a lawsuit
to allow burial in the comfort of her front yard.
“Dig a hole; plant me under a rosebush,” she insists,
“I’m not that big.”

She has spent the last decade
fighting against corporate personhood.
Now county officials say she needs
to fill out paperwork, declare her property
a cemetery, herself a corporation.

“This is bullshit,” she explodes.
“All I want is to die in peace,
fertilize my own lawn.”

Jennifer Lagier has published nine poetry booksand in multiple literary magazines.She taught with California Poets in the Schools and is now a retired college librarian/instructor, member of the Italian American Writers Association,co-edits the Homestead Review, helps coordinate monthly Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings.