image: a man and a body at a morgue in Iraq
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read `This is what John Kerry did today,’ the 12/02/2004 diary by lawnorder that prompted this series
witness every day
images and words below the fold
by Thomas Lynch
Two girls found dead. My sons go to the morgue.
Two cots, thick rubber gloves, two body bags.
Too long stuffed in a culvert, raped and stabbed,
too decomposed to recognize. Too sad.
Two local ne’er-do-wells no doubt abused
too much as children themselves, stand mute.
Two caskets in a room, two families undone.
Two ministers. Two homilies. My sons
too busy with flowers and townspeople
to contemplate the problem of evil,
to shake their fists at God, regard instead
two funerals – the living and the dead
to be transported in their separate griefs –
two hearses to be washed, two limousines.
Today the wakes and paperwork details.
Tomorrow a burning and a burial.
Two girls found dead of known brutalities
together forever, precious memories
too sweet, too savage, too beautiful and bad
to keep at bay by ritual or words.
Two boys about their father’s business learn
to number, comfort, witness and keep track.
Learn more about Thomas Lynch, an undertaker/poet living and working in Milford, Michigan -from a book review at Amazon.com.