All the Dead


All the dead die slowly.


        so heavily weighted with history,

        steadily toward the dark and cold unknown.

We are still connected to them,

by strong spider strands of memories,

while we thrash desperately

holding on to dear life.

        He was good; he was bad;

        She was happy; she was sad;

It was complicated.

I wished I had a chance to say goodbye.

Our fears hide within us,

        like a burglar loitering under a broken light.

Damned death may come too quickly,

        or the slow, torturous decline.

We keep things of theirs:

        old shoes, photos, birthday letter,

        a pen, a keychain,

        a key to a lock long forgotten,

        a winter shirt,

        a pin, a worn deck of cards.

Jesus Christ, Caesar isn't gone yet,

        nor Anthony, nor Shakespeare,

        nor captivating Cleo,

        as well as my cousin Joanna years ago.

I recall there was something that bothered her.

Now it bothers me.


                       -- John D. Medeiros, September 2018


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