The lion on the family mausoleum lies still,
mossy-backed and obedient.
When no one watched I rode it.
I never thought of those buried,
only wanted to escape the living
who were so easily offended.
Beatrice hated the place
and liked to tease,
“When everyone you know is dead,
you won’t like it either.”
The lion obliges,
stares from the cemetery bed.
No one mounts the statue.
It is silence
that’s offensive, banging up against the sky.
Abigail Wender holds an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson Program for Writers. She lives in New York City.2