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Aunt Dorothy Funeral

Aunt Dorothy Funeral
Written by Mel Brake

"And then, I will rise
nor more sorrow no more pain
and then I will rise when he calls my name.."

I thought about my nephew
at Aunt Dorothy's funeral
I wondered who would mourn for me
when I was loss

I watched as young people
ran out of the church
after viewing Aunt Dorothy's
white gold trimmed coffin

Who would be visibly
upset and be a fool for me

Besides the young do not
know how to handle the loss
of a loved one

My nephew called me
during her service
when I spoke to him
I thought he wanted something from me

But he said that he was calling me
because he remembered I was at the funeral

I  then broke down into a crying walk
I cried not for Aunt Dorothy

I cried for myself and my lost youth

I cried for my sister  because she lost her health
contracted Lupus in that same nursing home near the church 
Aunt Dorothy was eulogized in

I cried for my other sister who lost her mind
gave up her Baptist faith and  married a Jehovah Witness man
he was from that same neighborhood

I cried for my mother because she lost the love of her life
he would visit us in our home on 3850 Parrish street near the church
Aunt Dorothy was eulogized in

I cried for my big brother and  the lost  of our closeness
he worked in a machine shop in that same neighborhood  

He would take me downtown on the 40 bus
that still runs in that dilapidated neighborhood

I cried for the lost of $1000 that my other brother stole
Money that my mother and brother raised to send me
the first one in the family to go to college in that hell whole
of a neighborhood

I cried for the lost of my neighbor who was gay
and he had an operation to become a white woman
and married a white man who drove a Mercedes
But he moved out of that hell whole of a neighborhood

I cried for the young children who I befriended
who were lost themselves in that neighborhood
to drugs violence and prison and early childhood pregnancy

I cried for the older neighbors and friends who have also passed
I sat on the front porch and I would listen to the stories  they told about
how safe Philadelphia used to be when
 the neighborhoods looked after every child's safety

I cried and cried and cried
until I could not cry anymore
walking the streets of the neighborhood
that I grew up in what we called the Bottom

When I walked back to the church
the hearse had moved on with Aunt Dorothy
the family was gone
and the church doors were locked

I thought about Aunt Dorothy
and the passing of the torch
She was the matriarchy of the family and the Mother of the Church
what was her parting words and legacy
we suffered a great loss

Then she as an ancestor spoke

“If you loved me
keep my commandments”

“Love thy neighborhood and thy enemy
as you would love thyself”.






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