Largely untouched by death

I who have been largely untouched by death, carrying these deaths with me through my life; the abruptness of death; and grief grows expotentially.

Listing the losses, the dates and places unknown, Mama's Tata, her Mama, the twins, Heniek, Tata's Tata, all lost and circling me, reaching out their arms, and grief grows exponentially, as Heniek lies in his newly found grave in Pahlevi waiting for me to come and claim him, as Babunia dreams of her handsome officer husband, waiting for her in the cafe in the park, and she's carrying a bunch of lilacs through the ancient city, smiling to herself in her happiness. She lies now in the grave with Oled, tiny baby, less than twelve hours old with his mis-shapen head, the baby Mama never saw, the baby Tata carried alone to the grave, placing him to rest in the grave where fifteen years later he'd place his mother.

All these dead people, here with me still, Mama's Mama standing at the end of the long hospital corridor, shawl wrapped around her thin face, waving her goodbye to the children she'd never see again, she stands endlessly inside me, waving and waving with one hand as she clutches the shawl tightly.

And the twins, somewhere in Kazakhstan, lying in their lonely separate graves, calling "find us, find us".