Names of the Dead

(I wrote this because of Sid, he read the names of the dead at the TDOR - this is for you, Sid)

Just another car passing
Not going where you're going
A random act of destination
Passing you by
Not caring or feeling or knowing
Where you're going.

A reproachful landscape
Demanding contrition

We say the names of the dead, the missing, the maimed
The people landed on and the people we failed to save
Some people cry, some people listen
It is a sure and simple sadness
I see the parents and the grandparents of the lost
Guess that's my penance for being a parent
We see in others ourselves remembered
Of all those tortured souls
I wonder how their families remember
or if they try to forget

I think that's why there's a heaven
We like to think that the people
Who had it hardest in life
Will catch a break in death
Will find rest, repose and recognition
Will be special
Will be loved
Will be waiting

But I am angry, too
Am angry because we lost
They won
They had their fun
Beating, maiming, stabbing, shooting, poisoning
The list seems endless
Faceless names now never again
Smiling, looking hopeful or even sad or frightened
It is not enough to remember
To just remember is to just accept
To consign them to their fate
To allow the inevitability of injustice
Of needless pain and desperate sorrow
Of untimely death

Fight death then
Fight it every day
Deny that they should have had to die
That their lives had meaning
Only in death.
We'll never win, you say
You're right
But there is something better about fighting
Than passive acceptance
Of inevitable loss
If I go down
Let me go down swinging
At least then I will have lived
A life worth saving
By having a death
Worth dying.

 

2010

creative commons