Los Angeles, USA
How Do We Count Our Dead?
By age, gender, race.
By breaths lost
loved ones left behind
accomplishments in life
shades of acquired fame?
Do we grieve the first one lost in China
differently than the ones left behind in Spain
or the Americans lost in New Orleans?
Do we count them if they were never tested
but died of respiratory failure?
Do we know who shows up
on bar graphs and pie charts
on line graphs where the Y-axis is altered
to imply a flattening
to muffle the sounding of an alarm
that tells us were too late?
Do we stop counting
and seek hope
as we carry on in
our cancelled lives?
Noriko Nakada writes, blogs, tweets, parents, and teaches middle school in Los Angeles. She is committed to writing thought-provoking creative non-fiction, fiction, and poetry.