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Sunday, November 11, 2007


by Michelle Morgan

Self Identification. Ego in Balance.


Da De Los Meurtos, Marraskuu,
in Finland and Japan, in Mexico and the Philippines,
a common bulk of earth grabs attention
as it struts down the wide white corridor
toward the light at the end and halts,
unsure whether it should go on.

In Pueblo people crowd the streets,
dance in cemeteries, surrounded by
orange-yellow light from red candles
that caress images of the Virgin Mary
stacked and piled on top of one another,
sky blue robes and gold leaf,
prayers in soft murmurs ghosting
around stones and marigolds.

Here is Maria Galeana and her three small
sons whose father has been dead 2 years,
suffocated in the back of the box truck
that was to buy their independence,
snorting on his own vomit as his lungs
exploded fireworks and barbed wire
through his brain.

Here is the 22 year old soldier’s funeral,
a coffin draped with the flag
and the gun salute of 11 rifles,
who died protecting our glorious country
against the eternal they with their
eternal burn.

We lay the dead on carts
where we can push them from one end
of our mind to the other: neat, compact
rows of dead women and children,
grandfathers, the sick and frail,
all beyond our reach.
We try, we tell ourselves, we try,
but you just can’t help those who
don’t want to help themselves,
how much can one person do?

Never do we see our own body wracked
limp on the cart, dirt smudging the cheek
of our wide-eyed daughter, dead beside us
but not before she was raped by the enemy,
still clutching her small pink scrap of doll.

Never do we ask: for whom do we die?

In the eleventh hour of the eleventh day,
who will be left to remember us,
to leave cakes and money on our graves,
we of precious life and freedom?

Michelle Morgan lives in Auburn, Maine, and will be attending the University of Southern Maine for her MA in American & New England Studies in the fall of 2007. Her poems and artwork have been published or are forthcoming in JMWW, The Banyan Review, Salt River Review, The Aurorean, Off the Coast, Wolf Moon Journal, Plain Spoke, and will be included in the forthcoming anthologies: Through the Kitchen Window: A Sense of Home and Outside Voices’ 2008 Anthology of Younger American Poets. She is Editor of the online lit/arts journal Panamowa: A New Lit Order.