Poem for Those Who Have No Real Comprehension of PTSD I I I I I Exist

Ron Riekki

I forget the names of the dead
sometimes and then make myself
look them up to remember the dead,

all of the dead that I know as if
their names are ghosts, as if even
the three words of what we pretended

made them who they were could just
fade in and out of the mind with the ease
of a wave, the turn of a page, and

it’s the opposite of their deaths, how
there is no violence (deceptively)
to the opening of a notebook or

to a simple google search where it
recounts the who, the what, the where,
the how, and the why completely ignored.

Ron Riekki’s books include And Here: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing, 1917-2017 (Michigan State University Press), Here: Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (Independent Publisher Book Award), The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works (Michigan Notable Book), and U.P.: a novel. Upcoming books in 2019: Posttraumatic: a memoir—essays & flash non-fiction on the military, prison, iggy pop, the devil, & writing (Hoot ‘n’ Waddle), Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice (Michigan State University Press, with Andrea Scarpino), and The Many Lives of The Evil Dead: Essays on the Cult Film Franchise (McFarland, with Jeff Sartain).