J  B R UC E   W I L C O X . C O M

ugly son

it was my mother’s father’s funeral
in a mormon church- you know
the church of jesus christ of latter day (so they think) saints
i’d flown from state to state in order to attend
i was talking with my sister
we were standing near our aunt
as my father entered through the door
my parents rarely travel together
so my mother was already there
actually- my parents don’t do anything together
except live separately in the same house
many others were there as well
my grandmother sat beside the casket
my grandfather at peace inside
my father approached his mother-in-law-
greeted her- turned and said hello to a friend
and then turned again and noticed me

i have to admit i looked good- my hair clean cut
wearing a sharp gray suit and electric blue tie
i mean- we were at a funeral

he opened his mouth
and in a perfectly audible voice- spoke his truth

oh- it’s my ugly son

i’m not a heterosexual
he’s a radical right wing religious bigot

i replied- that wasn’t the least bit funny
and walked out of the room
he tried to apologize- but really
can words like that ever be repossessed?

it essentially ruined the funeral

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