No one came to her funeral,
in the inimitable logic of the family
it was held in Puerto Ordaz
where no one knew her.
In the Tropics burials are not delayed,
and there were those that held that
the need for haste was strange.
The obligatory Mass was said,
Her favourite flowers , gardenias, sent.
Incense was heavy in the air if not sorrow.
But this is all by way of conjecture,
I was not there, no one in the family
notified me of her death.
This parallels another such event
When my Roma grandmother died,
and her daughters busied quarreling
amongst themselves forgot
to inform their brother.
Yet within minutes of her death I was
called by hospital staff, for in Ciudad Bolivar
a town in the mouth of the Orinoco’s muddy waters,
I’m well known, albeit for patronage of lost causes.
My Sister and I, shall we say,
had a complicated relationship,
We reflected each other through
a warped mirror of family loyalties
and betrayals, more alike than not.
She was the being who loved me the most
on earth and hated me with equal ardour
and at times, both at once.
Never could fathom the source of the intensity,
of either, and for the most part did not care.
Her voracity for luxuries and indolence.
did not abate with age.
Perhaps my portrayal is unfair,
she could be profligate in generosity
But I have yet to grieve, yet to forgive.