Canopic (or: Jar in a Niche)
by John Wilkinson

Futile is hardly
the word for it.
Can a small jar of ashes
contain eighty years
of life?
I see it bubbling over
with love,
with memories…
Camping trips, air shows,
pictures of a young man
in a wool hat
at Chin Hae, Korea.
The day, playing baseball
in the alley, that he
pulled a hard liner
straight through
the neighbors’ garage window.
The savory smell
of marinated steak on the grill,
the penetrating odor
of model airplane glue.
A small jar has no hope
of containing a father.

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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