They Don’t Know They’re Dead

They cling like mist, damp and chilly on my coat,
as I stand at the bus stop by the cemetery gates,
aware that it could be an uncomfortable wait.

I stare at my feet to ignore the embarrassed stares
of other people in the queue and the pleading eyes
of those who breached the cemetery wall, and try

to disguise my fear and disgust at the musty smells that rise
from their crumbling skin and bones, and the cries
and moans of people who think they’re still alive.

Kim M. Russell, 2017

They Don't Know They're Dead Nunhead

Image found on Pinterest

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Title-Tale (Poetry and Flash Fiction with Magaly)

Magaly says that the world is so gloomy right now, most of us could probably use a laugh (or fifty). For this week’s mini-challenge, she has given us something simple and funny: 13 titles to choose from and use as inspiration to write a new three-stanza poem or a very short story (of 313 words or fewer). She has requested that we battle curiosity and abstain from finding out anything about the actual books. We should also include the chosen title, as a note, somewhere in our posts. One more thing: just because some of the book titles might inspire hysteric laughter (or excessive blinking), this doesn’t mean that our poems must be humorous.  I chose People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It, by Gary Leon Hill.

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20 thoughts on “They Don’t Know They’re Dead

  1. Wow such beautifully hypnotic images here Kim! Especially this: ” to disguise my fear and disgust at the musty smells that rise from their crumbling skin and bones, and the cries and moans of people who think they’re still alive.” Sigh… unforgettable write!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your description reminded me of a bus stop which the homeless used as a place to sleep. They weren’t waiting for a bus. They were resting at the shelter of the roofed bus stop where they could also sit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the invisible people nobody wants to acknowledge. We don’t see many homeless people out here in the middle of nowhere but whenever I go into the city I do see them. It makes me angry and sad – there but for the grace …

      Like

  3. Wonderful imagery in this. I’m fascinated by old cemeteries, but for real, you have to be careful, as there truly are those who have passed on who don’t realize it. Their souls do cling to visitors, to be taken home with them.

    Liked by 1 person

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