When the man calling our father
‘the cremains’
unfolds a pamphlet with options
that read like wine labels –
chocolate-stained walnut;
smoked; white oak from Allier –
we tell him our father
was a quarter French.

Having picked one shaped like a take-out box,
we don’t know what to call it.
Receptacles are for waste.
Containers, reusable like Tupperware.
A box is just a shape – there’s no word
for this kind of coffin.

In the light, pale
discs swim to its polished
black surface like koi.

February is the worst month
to spread cremains.
Who wants to feel
their father sifting?
We brush pink eraser dust
from our date books.

If we do it now, he could sit for months
on a grey toilet of snow.
How many dogs would mourn with him
before spring?