“Memories of the Dead”

By Ryan O’Reilly

A house stands silent sentry

Its empty halls filled with ghosts praying for release.

There, the overwhelming stench of fear smolders

From the ghost bodies long vanished.

Their ashes rest gently like snow far from home.

Ghost bodies, just months before, filled with life and joy.

Forcibly taken to camps–  beaten, abused and neglected,

Pulled from their homes and forced to give up.

Clothing, precious memories, wealth

And eventually their lives stolen.

Abducted from within those now empty halls,

Taken to a place where death is a welcome relief.

Where food is a blessing,

Where hopes and dreams are obliterated.

Taken to work as pack mules,miners, diggers, movers

And yes– even as guinea pigs.

Cruelly experimented on in inhumane ways,

On full view for the public to see,

A public consisting of laughing soldiers

With little regard for the pain they are causing.

The house is empty now,

Yet filled with ghosts of memories soon forgotten.

Homes lay in smoldering ashen heaps,

Lost forever to the shrieking, biting wind.

One empty house stays upright through all tragedies to await

A family who will never return.

When will the memories fade to dust?

Every abandoned house has a story

It just has to be told.

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