what remains by Daniela Elza

POEM NAME: what remains AUTHOR NAME: Daniela Elza POEM: as a child we went on class trips to the mausoleum. lined up for hours. waited to get in. paid our respect to a national hero now a husk on display. at that tender age of course I had reverence for heroes. but once inside I was more curious what the dead looked like— when my grandmother lay there in the chapel everyone kissed her goodbye— when my turn came I was not sure how to kiss what has died. I don’t remember what I did only she felt like candle her fingers pale wax her face honeycomb moulded in her likeness. I think of her fingers when I light candles— what remains of the hero is his serenity and how cold how very cold it was inside. how the blanket had sunk how he was not all there— and now I think of us. what froze in time— how we barely noticed. still the warm light on the face I used to know stirs up a reverence for what is past. and the silence here no one dares to break— just the shuffle of feet in and out back and forth. END OF POEM. CREDITS: Copyright © Daniela Elza First published in Prism International, Issue 53.3, 2015 and also appears in the broken boat (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2020). Born and raised between three continents, Daniela Elza immigrated to Canada in 1999. This poem is from her fourth collection of poetry the broken boat (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2020) which she is launching under pandemic times. Daniela’s poems have won numerous contests and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Anthology multiple times. slow erosions, (a chapbook of collaborated poems with poet Arlene Ang) is forthcoming with Collusion Books (October, 2020). Her essay “But where are you really from?” is forthcoming in the Queen’s Quarterly. Daniela lives and writes in Vancouver, BC. For more info, visit strangeplaces.livingcode.org To support our authors and publishers you can purchase the broken boat from your local independent bookstore or the publisher’s website, mothertonguepublishing.com for your signed copy directly from the author.

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