In the winter
in Providence when we were ten
when the trees
were stripped skeletons
we would deliver
the evening paper
passing the coffin factory
closed for the night
coffins propped outside
lids open
varnish drying
hinges shined
we would joke about
tossing a paper in
give the dead
something to read
maybe the standings
Yankees in first
Boston in second
We’d say
“a permanent box seat”
No satin lining
No silk pillow
that would come in the morning
such care taken for an object
designed to spend