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The Living Dead



My mind wanders to the stillness of a field
 where wild asters used to stud the grass with blue
 I seem to hear the echo of a voice
 Lamenting over the vast stretches where my thoughts cling

 Here, children ran and played and called each other yesterday
 and people sometimes lazed in the earth's firmness
 Riffling the crisp grass through their fingers
 or gaze into the blue greyness of the vast unknown

 Once this field nurtured life
 Once a squirrel hid in it's thickness,
 an ant crawled busily as it clung to a tree
 Once all was teeming with life

 Like a mother who nurtures a babe inside her womb
 not a living creature now on that field
 None whose love, whose life, whose breath
 once braced the hearts of those he knew

 What is that echo I seem to hear
 where recently the field turned battlefield
 Of maimed and wounded
 I seem to hear the repeated blows against my chest

 Or, do I hear the outside pounding of a heart
 now the stench of death spreads an eerie feeling over me
 I walk bent, my ear tuned to someone's distress
 I cannot feel uplifted

 It matters not where the source of death is life
 clocking it's rhythmic beat
 On its march to that irrevocable end
 but when the arrogant hand of the battle

 In Vietnam, Valley Forge, Verdun, Gettysburg or Golan Heights
 moves the pace faster
 Who am I not to feel the pain
 the deep sore pain I share with those mourning

 Mourning their beloved dead
 striped of a life once dear to their very own essence
 And dear to those who knew and loved and cared
 who now have gnawing at their vitals the agony of loss

 Like an amputation of the very fibers of their being
 I share the deep sore pain of those left mourning
 I think of their moment of anguish, their eons of hurt
 Yet hope springs among some

 And sometimes cheer a moment of cheer
 like a grace note against a solemn chord
 I picture myself on that field among the dying
 I go deep into their entrails

 Among those struggling to grip that last grip
 that last gasp
 Until beaten by death they surrender
 Yet at times, I'm among those

 who go to death with grace
 As though the secret of the unknown were revealed in beauty
 I ask myself, " Which would I " ?
 I cannot know the imponderable

 And yet I know a choice I'll be called to make
 I'm back with those left living again
 Living and mourning
 I grope perhaps to soothe with words or comfort with my touch

 But I feel empty, hollowed out am endless desert
 Like those who once knew those dead
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Submitted by hitalot on March 22, 2017

2:19 min read
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Mario William Vitale

Mario William Vitale is a twentieth century poet. He has developed a style of free verse. Has written over one thousand poems. more…

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    "The Living Dead" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 27 Oct. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/45657/the-living-dead>.

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