Anna Leahy

My Grandmother’s Body

When the funeral director comes to
retrieve my grandmother’s body, a nighttime
response to my aunt’s inevitable call,
he wears his funeral-director suit.
He leaves the stretcher out on the back porch.
He ambles the staircase to her bedroom.
He notes the stairs’ ninety-degree turn
without changing pace. She lies beneath her sheet
and blanket in bed. He knows that she is
small and light. He asks if he might
lift her himself to carry her downstairs
and out the door, away. What a relief
to think of her last moment at home, cradled
in the man’s arms, her head in his arm’s crook.


Anna Leahy’s book Constituents of Matter won the Wick Poetry Prize, and her latest chapbook, Sharp Miracles, will appear from Blue Lyra Press in 2016. Her poems and essays appear in The Southern Review, The Rumpus, Crab Orchard Review, The Pinch, Gravel, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and more. She teaches in the MFA and BFA programs at Chapman University, where she edits the journal TAB and curates the Tabula Poetica reading series. She also co-writes the Lofty Ambitions blog. To see a video exclusive of her poem “The Giraffes at Lincoln Park Zoo,” click here. To read one of her essays, check out The Weaklings.

 … return to Issue 8.2 Table of Contents.