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