by Matthew Pritt

Frog dissection is memorable—
I don’t blame you for bringing it up.
Nobody knows what to say
at a funeral anyway.

You tried to find common ground.
My wife, a biologist,
you, enjoyed your high school classes
thirty years ago.

You even made the motions:
slicing the belly,
pinning the skin,
removing the liver.

I couldn’t help but mention
organ donation
and the people who would live,
or live more comfortably
because of my dad’s death.

You thought I was chastising you
instead of following the tendons
that hold the limbs of conversation together,
and you muttered a quick apology
before you went.

I hope you didn’t do to our interaction
what you did to the frog,
making incisions and picking it apart
long after it was dead.

In the moment,
I was less alone,
And that’s all that mattered.


Photo by Scott Webb via Pexels