The Ditch

The day my great-granddad died, he dug the hole

by himself, all the way square to six feet deep.

Jumped in the hole, lay down,

pulled his gun out and

shot himself clean through the head.

His suicide note just said,

“Shouldn’t be too much trouble,

just push the dirt back in.”

Apparently inspired by this story,

my grandmother’s first husband

hung himself in the bedroom he shared

with his wife, left the door wide open

so anyone coming into the house would first see

his shit and piss-stained body dangling from the ceiling.

My aunt and uncle, aged 5 and 7, found this waiting

when they came home from school.


When my husband talks about suicide,

I tell him

make it clean.

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