viewing the dead…

december 2000
it was
a rather
strange part
of a bike tour
a mandatory viewing
of
uncle ho
where
we
in
a single file
walked solemnly
around
his glass enclosed
preserved
body
soldiers
assured
that there would be
no
photos
or
talking
it seemed
obvious
that
his true memorial
was not
within
those walls
but
outside
in the laugher
of
the school children
who
never had experienced
war
they
had moved on
from
the past
that day
made me
realize
that
we all
frequently
view the dead
whether
or
not
we want
to
admit to it
it might be
an old friend
or
a loved one
or
perhaps
just a moment
in
time
you know
that special memory
that
we
must view
over
and
over
again
a viewing
that keeps us bound
to
yesterday
and
unable to move on
to
the rest
of
life’s tour

 

bereavement kit…

sitting
alone
her
eyes
darkened
lines of
too many memories
beneath them
chain smoking
as if such clouds
could bring her
closer to god
she
a one-time soldier
now draped
in a tattered flag
blood stained
the stench of death
lingering in every fiber
so
another drink
to kill war’s nighmares
another cigarette
to mask the stench
living
only
to wait
for
the next
drink
while wondering
who really
died
that
day