Ashes to ashes,
Dust to dust…
They recited the words casually.
Did “they”, who gathered there, ever know who was lowered into the earth?
She was a woman/mother/wife/daughter/sister/aunt/friend/cousin
Wait, she had no cousins here.
She was the child of immigrants,
Who never returned home and
who choose English over their native tongue.

The words were spoken casually
Ashes to ashes,
Dust to dust…
sound the same
In the tongue of her parent’s parents
wherever the mourners gather


Janet Cormier is a painter, writes prose and poetry, and performs comedy. JC prefers different and original over pretty. She loves collecting stuff, but cleaning not so much. Janet also talks to strangers… a lot. Her column now appears weekly on Oddball Magazine.