Poem: The Dead

By: Hanoch Guy

thedead

are helpless
at the hands of the living,
uprooting memory.
The dead retaliate, invading dreams.
Stand in line to demand their dues.
Uri, with the satisfied smirk
he wore when he beat me up
with a split branch.
Marsha, who burst out laughing
when I cried in her bed.
Some are gentler.
My parents, who remind me of a bitter childhood,
nights of asthma attacks,
unpaid loans.

The dead are not helpless.
They control us with nightmares and make us shudder,
come at us with vengeance
when we let down our guard.
We kneel at their feet
and plead for mercy.

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