“Cleopatra, Queen of Denial”

Cleopatra she fine most the time
She go here there
And like when sista die she
Hep everyone who not unnastan
That sista she much better there

In the light, in the happy stuff
That be inside each and every
And that be the place you go
No question a that

Sometime Cleopatra she get a message
To give the left behinds
Like a thank you for all da years
You stayed for me
When I was broken, lost
In the bed, dyin’ or crazy
You stayed for me

That message be given though
Not always unnerstood or ‘cepted

And Cleopatra usually fine
When people die who was
Half ded already, hardly there
Not fully themselves
For so long, so very long
Because of the deep free thing
They find on the other side

Those that doubt it
Leave them to mourn
Cleopatra know
They better off

And so Cleopatra usually fine at the funeral
She think the body lying there is nothin
But the leftovers, not momma, not daddy
Just a leftover suit a clothes
And she wait while the others make their sad goodbyes
to the leftovers

And then she thinks hey, that’s not momma
That’s not daddy, that’s not sista.
And usually mommy or daddy or whoever
be hanging around, happy, free
and so Cleopatra she happy too

It’s just that this time,
Funeral dead and gone weeks ago
And driving two boys to a movie in Ottumwa
Somehow she felt the hurt, the loss,

Not so much a the sista
That went downhill day by day in the nursing home
The sista that smoked and ate wrong
and had been a long time crazy
the sista with diabetes, COPD, and mo’

but the sista that was
had made a group of five
and the Sista that was always there
suddenly wasn’t

and Cleopatra finally knew
that Sista had not only died
but she was gone, inside

and that while as long as she knew anything
there had been five, proud, brothas and sistas
together, facing these decades, side by side
but now there were four

And Cleopatra, in the front seat
On the way to the movies
Missed and finally mourned her
All alone.

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