(The girl in the image is Genesis Carmona. She was killed by the Venezuelan government for daring to protest for freedom and a better life. This was three years ago. In the past three weeks, almost 30 Venezuelans, between 14 and 60 have been killed by the government forces for protesting)
The parent of a dead child
Learns to live with the unimaginable.
Echoes of a voice walk by her side,
The phantom of a laughter
Rests upon his shoulder.
The parent of a dead child learns to
Live with an unfillable void.
A gaping wound that never quite heals.
A hole around which she and he have
To learn to build a new life.
The parent of a dead child sometimes
Wishes the world would stop,
Become quiet, frozen. Slow, until
There is no motion and life becomes
A still shot from an old film.
The world never does.
It never complies.
It cannot afford to stop rotating,
Moving, changing, making leaves fall
And then bloom again.
And the parent of a dead child
Must learn to live with this:
With this going on, this flow,
This life that stops for no one.
No even a grieving parent
Trying to come to terms with
The unimaginable loss.
They tend to walk a bit slower,
The parents of a dead child.
They tend to stop more, watch
The roses, see the bees come
And go among them.
They tend to sit longer.
In the park, on the bench,
In the garden.
Eventually they smile again,
A little at first. A resigned smirk
That sometimes grows like a
Waxing moon, showing all the teeth.
And yet, at the end of the lips,
Where the top and bottom one meet,
There is a sigh, a longing,
A desire to reach out and get her
Back, embrace him once more,
Hold them tight, the dead children,
Breathe life-force into them,
See them grow in one minute,
Watch them go, whole, sane, into
The shadows of the people enjoying
The sunset, the end of the summer,
The bonfires on the beach.
The wish that will never come to be.
And they walk home,
Back to the little hole in the soul,
Sometimes so minuscule you
Could miss it, sometimes so huge
It could swallow you in one gulp.
Big, small, visible, intangible,
But always there.