Agnes Vojta: “The Pope Coffin”

The Pope Coffin

I do not know whether dad
believed in heaven.
He had a sense for the sacred.
Sometimes all you see is the fruit;
the root remains secret.

My father never discussed death,
except to say he wanted a coffin
like Pope John Paul II: clear
lines, no frivolous embellishments –
an architect’s choice.

The minister spoke about the city-to-come,
solemn and hopeful, consoling
without the saccharine promises
dad would have hated. One must leave
space for uncertainty.

About the Author: Agnes Vojta grew up in Germany and now lives in Rolla, Missouri where she teaches physics at Missouri S&T and hikes the Ozarks. She is the author of Porous Land, The Eden of Perhaps, and A Coracle for Dreams, all published by Spartan Press. Most recently, she has been collaborating with eight other poets on the book Wild Muse: Ozarks Nature Poetry (Cornerpost Press, 2022.) Her poems have appeared in a variety of magazines; you can read some of them on her website

Image Credit: Jules-Edmond-Charles Lachaise “Design for a ceiling with trompe l’oeil balustrade and sky” Public domain image courtesy of Artvee

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