Respect for the Dead

Poem by Celia Collopy

Red plastic poinsettias 
Poised on molted earth
Beneath decay, above stagnation
I wonder what it’s worth

To respect the dead

Would they afford me the same kindness?
If i were in their rotted shoe-leather
Brittle bones molded over
Crushed under earth, melted by weather?

To respect the dead

They’d muse, foreign shoes, trodding
A jogger over my head, a girl
Plucks flowers from my wrists, a drunk
Pisses on my stone, and hurls 

To respect the dead

Can’t mean their memory if memory means
Murmurs, whispers run spine-screeching shivers
As she tells me he used to slip in her sheets
At six, seven, whenever he could get her

To respect the dead

Somehow the phrase forgets to follow
We, who are left behind

Celia Collopy is a writer based in New York who enjoys frozen pizza, tea and fresh flowers. Her work has previously appeared in the Kindred Republic.

Written Tales

Unleash your passion for literature and join the Written Tales family. Together, we'll make it the #1 home for writers & readers. Subscribe today and become part of our community that embraces poems and short story forms.
Join Today

Leave a Comment