Remember when we picked Aunt Clara up
from the mortuary? She was in a lovely, understated
box made to look like burgundy leather.

You were unsure what would be proper etiquette
for the occasion — clearly, they hadn’t covered
Transporting Personal Remains in cotillion class.

Choosing to err on the side of caution, you fixed me
with The Look, by which I understood I should offer
my place of honor in the front passenger seat.

“Aunt Clara ought to sit in front,” I said, and opened
the passenger side door. You nodded and bent
to place the box on the sun-warmed vinyl.

After a moment’s hesitation, you pulled the harness
across and buckled the box in place, checking
to make sure the lap belt was secure but not too tight.

We both went around to the other side and took
our respective seats. You started the car and drove
home, the radio tuned to the easy listening station.

I don’t believe it was polite that neither of us spoke
on the way home, but I’m certain we were both afraid
we would bust out laughing, and that would never do.