Memorial

Our closets no longer full of mourning clothes

we instead honor our dead on printed tees

car decals

tattoo our losses on tender skin

create public memorials with

bouquets of flowers

quilt squares

flags

framed photographs

stuffed animals

too many lost

far too young

 

I would ink the names of my dead

on my forearms in black

but the list is too long to fit

not all the lights extinguished

bestowed a name

I suppose Dot has a certain gallows humor

certainly more poetic than

ball-of-cells-that-my- body-deemed-too-flawed-for-survival

and expelled in a bloody rush

 

What does it mean to be a motherless child

when you over 20?

Are you still a father when you have never held

your living child?

Do you stop being a sister

when you are last one left standing?

I find my native tongue inadequate

to speak the true language of loss

where parts of identity break off

from our continent

drift off in crimson tides.

 

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

6 thoughts on “Memorial

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