Innocent, greedy squirrels taking nuts
they have no room to hold. Such big breaths
sucked, gulped, in
We were taught this fun, little game—
to hold our breath as we passed
the repose of bones and flesh,
gone or going.
Dead bodies captured,
named in cold stone
whizzing past as we dug
deep and bugged out our eyes.
We were taught, to respect
the memory of the dead by keeping
off the grass
that covered their agape, festering stares upward.
Painting ourselves back
into corners, of grief and remembering
to forget, trading an unhesitant life
for respect. A life worth celebrating is a life
to stand on.
Hills of bones,
mountains made of what’s left
by the greatest women and men.
Skulls and ribs, precious
for what they held, under foot
making paths, upward
to heaven, to the heavens,
or just up.
About the Author: Kyle Hunter is an attorney with a BFA in painting from Indiana University. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and four young children. His work has been published in Branches Magazine, Silver Birch Press, and So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library.