Humans have a real problem with dead.
Euphemisms abound to describe the state in humans.
We don’t refer to other dead things with quite the same measure of delicacy, however.
As long as stuff stays stuck to the thing it died on, it’s dead.
When we chop it off, stick it in a vase, and bring it indoors,
Dead-as-a-Door-Nail stuff magically becomes Dried.
I am fairly certain I never heard anybody say of a dried flower arrangement,
What lovely dead flowers!
These roses are the newest of the dead stuff.
I kept a fair number of dead things for years.
I still have this Yucca fruit.
Most of them got too dusty and were thrown out, however.
The oldest dead thing I have now is an open cotton boll.
It looks exactly as it did the day I broke it off in the field
Some twenty years ago
I figure I saved it from a rather inglorious end
And, of course, there is the seed pod sarcophagus.
The mummy inside is a bit fragile
But the empty sarcophagus will survive for years
Assuming that some over-zealous housekeeper
Doesn’t mistake it for rubbish.
(I chuckle to think of the comparison to archaeologist-grave-robbers, fancy coffins, and dried corpses)
A friend gave me this little Silkie chicken egg.
I kept it in the refrigerator for several years.
One day, I discovered that the chick inside had apparently mummified.
Now, when I shake it, the inside rolls around like a large marble.
These stamens probably won’t dry into anything recognizable
But, unlike all the fuss surrounding Napoleon’s shriveled part,
Nobody will care one whit.
This post was inspired by a book I am reading that chronicles
The misadventures of famous dried, uh, dead people.
Rest in Pieces, The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses
By Bess Lovejoy