On the News Hour, Fifteen More Names
Joy Gaines-Friedler

On the News Hour, Fifteen More Names

as they become available. I call a friend
to bridge some distance, maybe
get some reassurance. She talks wine and vodka.

I call another. Her voice, in bells, declares
her path β€œa spiritual journey,” says she tries only
β€œto live in a place of love.” I want them to know

that my lost ones follow me. They follow
me to the grocery store, to the river;
in hallways they chatter among themselves.
Even my unborns who have grown up.

Meanwhile, the names stream by in silence.
There are no names for the survivors.

Joy Gaines-Friedler

teaches poetry and creative writing for non-profits in the Detroit area, including the PCAP (Prisoners Creative Arts Project), through the University of Michigan and Springfed Arts. She is the author of Like Vapor (Mayapple Press) and Dutiful Heart (Broadkill River Review Press), as well as the forthcoming Control Theory.