Naming the Dead
“Let love clasp grief lest both be drown’d” — Alfred Lord Tennyson
Friends and family tried to be there, Fred.
Just as almighty God knows every little hair on our head,
he was there with his angels to carry you to paradise, Juan.
Kimerlee Nguyen – your words will continue in the lives
of your students who will one day look at the sidewalk
cracks, the jasmine vines and see what is written there.
Jorge Casals put himself through college.
May you have a lovely and spiritual afterlife
Remembering Alice Chavdarian, a loving and generous 92 year-old
Who loved to go on adventures. May you enjoy the Everafter…
Remembering Peggy Rakestraw who loved to read
mystery novels. May you Rest In Peace
Denise Camille Buczek – loved writing birthday cards
and holiday cards, poems and lists
with her signature pen, her pulse in every word.
Championing Hispanic women’s rights always near to your heart.
Your cause considered futile in your generation never faltered.
Q.E.P.D Juanita Valdez
Jermaine Ferro, love came late to you, but at 77 you loved
with a depth and ferocity that can only earned by years of waiting.
Dear Lula, how many grandchildren
will miss your loving arms?
Dear Helen, how many neighbors and friends
already miss your cooking?
June Beverly Hill – your creamed potatoes and fried sweet corn
are the clearest summer day.
How cool you were with your OG bolo ties
and suspenders, Leo. Hats off to your sartorial splendor!
Jesus Melendez –Your birria beef stew was extraordinary
—your extended family called it legendary.
Your heavenly family awaits you at the celestial dining table.
We remember your zeal for life, Alan Merrill, with every
headbang we make to your anthem “I Love Rock’n’ Roll.”
You were a sharecropper’s son, Cornelius, and look
how far you’ve come, only to have it all taken away.
Ann, thank you for believing that all
children deserve equity and access.
Claudia Obermiller – deep-hearted country girl
is a poem and a two-step of her own.
Kious, you were, are, and always will be our angel
As the nurse fighting for others forever and ever
Cynthia Whiting – determined to spoil her granddaughter,
to sweeten the lineage, to see her babies grow.
Joseph Migliucci – we ate zeppolis, eggplant
and chicken parmesan, beef rigatoni from Mario’s
the day we recommitted — words are our matter.
Celia Marcos – one of countless Filipina nurses
who didn’t want to die a hero.
Laneeka, star of the ballroom, feet shimmering
as she dances in Eternity.
Original prompt: Go to the New York Times and write one of line of poetry for one of those memorialized in today’s article about hitting the 100,000 mark in COVID-19 deaths. This poem is open-ended and will be added to until the stay at home order is lifted.
Natalie Champion, Gudelia Vaden, Nan Friedley, Rachelle Cruz, Rose Y. Monge, David Stone, Burcu Misirli Chatham, Debby Johnson