The pain of the dead

October 20, 2011

I’ve always loved westerns. One of the films that was most disturbing was Ox Bow Incident. My parents were watching it thinking that I had gone to sleep. I was on the stairs leading upstairs watching the TV. A young boy is hung. I had nightmares for weeks. There is something about random violence. By that I mean an innocent person loses their life for no reason. Certainly nothing they have done. Just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

When I was a kid there was a ‘racist’ view that Chinese people didn’t feel the pain of the death of loved ones. Because there were ‘so many of them’. And ‘they saw death on a large scale’. Our chldren see hundreds of people killed every year. On television. Does it harden their hearts?

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down the forest road


a man in black.

a lean man with thin eyes.

his face was not a kind one.

on his left hand

was a sailor’s kiss;

his right hand leaned on a cane

silver and polished.


he walked

over to the portch

where I was resting,

asked me

how far it was ’til dusk,

then he looked

at my silver watch


to my side

by a silver chain.


he looked to the sky

and behind him,

wiped his brow

and asked me if I could please end his thirst.

so I went

into the kitchen

over to the pump

where a shotgun leaned

nestling two shells in her womb,

picked her up


and handed both to him.


One Response to “The pain of the dead”

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