by Ted Haaland
A dead cadaver — is there any other kind? —
gazes up, if in fact, it could,
through staring, sightless eyes.
I gaze back, then pull a sheet
over what represented life.
I flip on back to college days,
when choice of rental was not elemental —
as much a need or more so,
than raising cash for college fees.
And so, based on the plea of a friend,
who had held the same position,
I applied, and got a job as night attendant.
I still feel this choice was right,
avoiding dorm noise every night,
and learned to pass, largely unheeded,
the newly dead — not yet in casket —
and certainly not dressed resplendent.
I lived two years free of all rent.
Not even nighttime pickups
were an impediment.
Eventually graduating the U of M,
I’ve left behind most thoughts of “them.”