Listen to M.A. Hoak read “her crown in glory.”


her crown in glory

they had my grandmother’s funeral
on a steamy sunday in august
(she’d died in may
but, given the virus,
they’d all been forced to wait)
i do not know if they wore masks
or if they stood six feet apart
i cannot tell you which hymns were sung—
which flowers they laid on her grave
(i hope they were purple; her favorite color)
what else is there to say?
except, of course, i was not there
i didn’t even know it was happening
(even though my own mother
arranged the service)
no one told or invited me
i can not say which of my flaws
made it easiest to omit me:
my distance, my sickness,
my living in sin or gleeful apostasy.
i only know
one painful truth
(the one i’ve spent
seven years learning):
for the disabled and chronically ill
the ability to grieve
is a luxury


M.A. Hoak is a chronically ill, neurodiverse, domestic violence survivor. She has an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her poetry can be found in Brave Voices, The Rumpus, Saw Palm, and Culturework Magazine. Her essays on chronic illness and disability can be found at The Mighty. Her website is Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Patreon.