Touch: The Journal of Healing



Parade of the Dead

    For J.M.E.

    by Alarie Tennille

Another good man lost

to cancer. He joins their line

as the dead – my dead –

parade by. Good-bye,

good-bye, good-bye again.

He smiles just enough to show

his dimples. The others walk slowly,

letting him set the pace. I remember

happier parades, sitting on Daddy’s

shoulders to see. Now tears and time

blur the passing faces, yet I know them

even by their shadows. The details

of departure – AIDS, murder, heart attack –

as clear as when they left me.

The procession shuffles away. Eyes

fixed on the path, the dead give

a slight nod as they pass,


they remember me, too.

© 2013  Alarie Tennille

Alarie Tennille serves on the Emeritus Board of The Writers Place in Kansas City, Missouri. Her chapbook, Spiraling into Control, is available from The Lives You Touch Publications.  Alarie’s poems have appeared in numerous journals including Margie, Poetry East, English Journal, I-70 Review, Wild Goose Poetry Review, and Southern Women’s Review.

Copyright © 2013

Touch: The Journal of Healing

All rights reserved.