07 November 2005

Count Your Dead

Yesterday the church I served observed All Saints Day. As part of the liturgy we honored the departed. During one of the prayers I invited folk to speak the name(s) of the departed that were on their lips. To my surprise several voiced a name, some couldn't.

I meant to read this poem as part of the liturgy, but forgot. It is a poem(s) by C. D. Wright, a prof at Brown. This is from Stealing Away: Selected and New Poems.

Count your fingers
Count your toes
Count your nose holes
Count your blessings
Count your stars (lucky or not)
Count your loose change
Count the miles to the state line
Count cars at the crossing
Count the ticks you pulled off the dog
Count your shells
Count the points on the antlers
Count the newjacks's keys
Count the beds you've got to let
County your cards; cut them again

Count your gray hairs
Count your chigger bites
Count your pills
Count the times the phone rings
Count your T cells
Count the days sine your last menses
Count the storm candles
Count your stitches
Count your broken bones
Count the flies you killed before noon

Count your folding money
Count the times you said you wouldn't go back
County your debts
Count the roaches when the light comes on
Count your kids after the housefire
Count your cousins on your mother's side
Count your worrisome moles
Count your dead:

Count the days of summer ahead
Count the years you finished in school
Count the jobs you don't qualify to hold
Count the smokes you've got left
Count the friends you;'ve got on the inside
Count the ones who've already fallen

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