Thursday, January 21, 2016

Death and Remembrance

                The Breanna View

                       for Moriah Thomason 
It starts the moment that I lose someone—
   Memory’s car goes into overdrive,
Racing through all the things he’s said or done
   To find bright moments that keep him alive.
But it’s not how he shined—it’s how he lit me
   That guides my memory to make its choice—
Not what was done or said, but how it hit me.
   The echo’s more important than the voice.
We know the novel by our favorite scene,
   We love the movie for that one great line,
And keep the mem’ry of our loved ones green
   By building, from a photograph, a shrine
      That takes, from their life’s necklace, one bright gem
      That speaks to us more than it speaks of them. 


                   The Paula View

                          for Amanda Becker
We do our best to try to keep the dead
   Alive, so that they’re more than just a name.
At first we have a movie in our head;
   Time whittles down each scene into one frame.
We hear their voices sing and laugh and cuss;
   Time makes us deaf to everything they said.
We smell them on the pillows next to us;
   Time launders all the sheets and makes the bed.
The more we cling to those whom Death has chosen
   To kiss, the harder Time yanks them away,
Until what we remember has been frozen
   Down to one image nothing can betray.
      And when we try to give it life, Time laughs.
      The dead always turn into photographs.

Copyright 2016 Matthew J Wells


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