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I do not know your names | Zero Readers

I do not know your names

by | Issue #5, Poetry

Your names toll in my dreams. “26,”
– Rachel Eliza Griffiths

I do not know your names 
                          your faces.
The photograph shows you 
beside the war monument
reminding me that time has circled back upon itself
                          how tanks have driven 
                                       out of our grandfathers’ memories.
I do not know your names.
The newspaper tells more than I can see
         of your clothing
                snug backpacks
         the girl in little moon boots
and your dog in a green carrier
                             green           like grass
                             green           like go
                             green           like life.
You’d dashed a hundred yards
leaving the bridge debris – 
shells zeroing.
I do not know the names of the hundreds
crossing the Irpin River
like Tennyson crossing the bar
the last crossing
leaving behind your bodies and your names:

Stan Galloway writes from the hills of West Virginia. He is the founder of Pier-Glass Poetry as well as the author/editor of 9 collections of poetry. He has taught writing and literature for more than 40 years.