Cortege

September 15th, 2014

Written 11 September 2014

The mourners stand silent
The cortege passes slowly
No longer a row of coffins
Now long in the ground
Nor ever merely a list of names
Rather, a procession of lives
A profusion of stories
Now never to be told
Of birthdays uncelebrated
Of triumphs and petty jealousies
Utility bills and hospice care
Basketball games and divorces
Ice cream and beer on the 4th of July
Seder feasts and christenings
Children never to be conceived
Grown children without parents
Spouses, friends, cousins — mourners
They take the first rank along the route
They have no choice
While the rest of us stand behind
All of us numb — still, somehow —
To contemplate what was lost
At the hands of violent men
Perverse in their grasp
Of what it means to be human
And what it means to submit
We have been made to submit
To reality in the form of loss
— hopes, comforts, illusions —
We no longer cry every day
Nor shake our fists at the heavens
Now we proceed
Changed

One Response to “Cortege”

  1. Glenda Spain Says:

    This continues to be one of the best things I’ve ever read!

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