The Naming of Things by Bracha K. Sharp

The Naming of Things


Who will remember a dead bird
dropped from the sky—
its body—so small—
and already shrouded
in death, as if it knew
that to be inconspicuous

was best.


I wanted to
forget such distress;

who will recall its memory
but me, what will I call it,

I don’t even know its type, classification,
and it had no name,

as if we, too, are only called human
with no soul,

if laid to rest,
with no designation to attach to our skins.


But in the pause of evening, the flies remembered its
still body.


I want you to know, that
even months later,
I still remember.

by Bracha K. Sharp

Editor’s Note: Sometimes the best poems have spare lines, little imagery, and a great deal of allusion—this poem’s indirect lesson is quietly offered, but loud in impact.


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