Grandfather | Chapter and Verse | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper


His hands were so big,
you could tell they were made
for carrying caskets,
for shoveling graves.
My grandfather, the undertaker,
the gentlest person I remember,
he buried half the town.
He cut open their bodies,
drained their blood and their bile,
and tucked them back into the ground,
tight as babies
in blankets of brown.

— Rachel McCarren

Rachel McCarren is from Butler, Pa. In 2017, her poems were shortlisted for Hungry Hill Writing’s international poetry competition, Poets Meet Politics. She is currently pursuing her master’s-of-fine-arts degree at Carlow University. She lives in Regent Square.


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