I am a long-time resident of Austin, Texas, where I received my education at the University of Texas. Favorite quote: "I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's" by William Blake, my mentor.
Contained in a Word
William stands in the photo with his broad careless smile;
To the left is his sister with the missing teeth grin.
William wears knee-pants and a striped clip-on tie,
Virginia beams aglow in her bright flowers dress.
Billy liked to explore the green lawn with his painted soldiers,
Protecting the family from fearsome dragons
Who disguised themselves as June bugs, but he knew.
Ginny liked the playground, birthday parties, and puzzles.
Father took them on weekends to museums or the zoo;
Mother would pack hot dogs, soda pop, and fresh fruit
For picnics in the park; they returned asleep
In the back of the car, exhausted from so much fun.
Billy wanted to be a doctor when he grew up,
Like his father, and a general for sure.
Ginny wanted to be a teacher and a mommy.
Only after they died in the sudden tragedy
Did the stricken parents begin to understand
The numbers, the vast terrible numbers;
Only then understand the monsters, the horrors,
And the lessons contained in the word Holocaust.
They have gathered here, the departing souls,
In this place called The Obituaries.
We can see their faces; we can read milestones
Of their careers and the names of family members.
It leaves out the most significant moments of their lives,
Those loving acts which the families keep personal.
They all appear happy or peacefully contented.
We look for someone we know and find those worth knowing.
Over time, many a dear relative or friend has appeared
In The Obituaries. This place reminds us they are not alone
Nor will we be alone when our notice is posted here.
Existence cannot arise from non-existence
Nor can existence transmute to non-existence.
Therefore we know these people in The Obituaries
Still exist and are travelling on to a new place.
It is appropriate to believe we are at dockside;
They are gaily waving good-bye as their ship is sailing away.
I am happy for them all as I wave farewell:
"Bon Voyage! Have a great new journey! I am not far behind!
We will all follow soon! Have a fun passage! Bon Voyage! Bon Voyage!"
©2015 Benjamin Pehr