Saturday, June 5, 2010

156. Full frontal

Until at last, he pivots on one heel, and turns to face the unthinkable. Arrayed before him, their sunken eyes watching his every move, are the silent dead, the forgotten dead, those who kindle no memory. The weight of years passed, press in upon memory as it claws at time.

Can he kindle a memory for just one pair of sunken eyes?

This slight man, this slight greying man in his chocolate brown corduroys and herringbone jacket with leather encased elbows, can he ease the pain? Overwhelmed and abashed, he pauses and sucks his cheeks, his wizened alabaster cheeks with their straight mouth lying between thin, pursed lips.

The steady beat in his temple accompanies the echo in his ear, as the graveness of his task strikes home. By remembering, and paying homage, to one of the forgotten dead, can he acknowledge them all?

Or is this overweening hubris?


Clytie said...

I can picture him here, among the forgotten souls ...

Joan Elizabeth said...

The forgotten dead ... it is somewhat mollifying that it takes only a generation to pass for most people to be gone from thought ... until some family reunion sometime in the distant future.

I remember thinking about that when my Mum and Dad passed away. I think of them often. They would be an occasional memory for the grandchildren and no knowledge after that ... just some photos and birth certificates and a few preserved documents and stories.