A Rose for the DIY Coffin Club

Lori Lamothe

“I’ve seen people come alive making their own coffins.”
–Grace Terry, 77

An old woman paints her casket
green with deep hydrangea blooms.
Meanwhile her husband hauls his version of the end
right into the center of the living room,
disguises it with pillows.

I suppose there’s a kind of seduction
involved. Better to pull Death into your arms
than sit around waiting
for him to show up on your doorstep and take you
somewhere you don’t want to go.

If I could, I’d decorate my box with all the words
I never trusted—fall finally asleep
in unfamiliar cadences.
I’d line the inside with shades of love
to warm me inside the nothing.

Or maybe red hearts, the radical sun, etc,
wouldn’t be enough.
Maybe I’d need to lay you down there too
then go about my business
as if you meant almost nothing to me.
At night I’d climb inside
and wait there with your silence,
my mind full of questions and petals.



Lori Lamothe is the author of three poetry collections. Her fourth book, Tulip Fever, was published in fall 2022. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Blackbird, Gingerbread House, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Shore, Verse Daily and elsewhere. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize a number of times and is currently caught up in the NFT craze. When not writing, she can be found walking her two rescue huskies, minting creepy photo art, baking, reading and/or procrastinating.