The Evidence Clearly Shows…

For Poets United, Midweek Motif: Evidence.  A brand spanky new never before seen by anyone poem.  Years ago I made extra money doing autopsy photos.  This was the day before all the technology and photographic and DNA gizmos.  It was simple – black and white.  Snap, snap, snap.  The coroner removing body parts, weighing them, pulling back the skin, spreading the ribs.  Speaking into a small hanging microphone while a clerk stood by transcribing and a photographer walked around taking photos of wounds, the body exposed, etc.  The summation usually ended with, The evidence clearly shows death by…This is also being posted for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night

The Evidence Clearly Shows
“To forget time, to forget life, to be at peace.” Oscar Wilde
No evidence of drugs in his system.
No evidence of foul play.
No evidence of auto-erotic asphyxiation.
Just him, hanging from the shower stall.
I wonder what dark place he visited
before he embarked on his final journey.
I wonder about his thoughts before taking the last step
into parts unknown.
One has to wonder.
One has to grieve.

49 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Colleen@ LOOSELEAFNOTES
    Sep 18, 2018 @ 22:51:47

    The intrigue peaks interest. So sad and dark.

    Reply

  2. annell4
    Sep 19, 2018 @ 11:10:05

    Yes, it is dark and it is cold, and it is sad. He left us wondering? Too many questions without answers. But he would want to do his way…no waiting around for someone else…he was a take charge kinda guy. And I honor his wishes. He left us to grieve his “end of season.”

    Reply

  3. annell4
    Sep 19, 2018 @ 11:11:29

    Suicide always leaves so many questions, unanswerable questions. Maybe it is harder on the ones left, than the one commiting the deed?

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 19, 2018 @ 11:57:33

      I guess. It has been hard on those of us left behind. I had two friends suicide in the last year. I don’t know Annell. It is just hard.

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  4. Sherry Marr
    Sep 19, 2018 @ 12:00:41

    So sad, when someone is in so much pain they lose hope in tomorrow.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 19, 2018 @ 12:03:14

      I don’t know Sherry if it was losing hope or just got too hard to live. We will never know. It is heartbreaking.

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  5. Sumana Roy
    Sep 19, 2018 @ 12:11:07

    Oh! This is so sad and tragic. What immense pain the person might have gone through! Heartbreaking. After reading the note the title appears so chilling!

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 19, 2018 @ 12:18:23

      Yes it is. The autopsy process is so cold and impersonal, merely a stating of facts. The person ceases to be a person. An yes, I cannot imagine the pain of the person suiciding. I had two friends suicide in the past years. It leaves a huge looming question of why? In the picture.

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  6. Vicki
    Sep 19, 2018 @ 12:36:06

    Well written, very sad though.

    Reply

  7. susanstoo
    Sep 19, 2018 @ 13:06:11

    “the evidence clearly shows” very little of personal value! Facts. Not that they’re not important, but it’s the last 2 lines that clinch the moment and beauty of your poem. I’m sorry for your loss. I’m in grief for the growing numbers of people moved to suicide. I used to think it was ok to choose that exit, and then someone dear to me chose that path. His silence/absence is still with me.

    Reply

  8. Victoria C. Slotto
    Sep 19, 2018 @ 14:52:03

    So many painful questions in this kind of situation.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 19, 2018 @ 15:01:19

      This particular suicide has affected me deeply. Too many why’s. My dear friend Jeff who suicided almost a year earlier, we saw it coming. We tried to stop it but he cut us off completely. His mother had died a month earlier. He lost his lover a few years earlier. He was heartbroken and ready to die. It hurt but we knew why. This last one, huge mystery.

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  9. Carrie V. H.
    Sep 19, 2018 @ 15:39:14

    Thought provoking and deeply sad Toni. A powerful write!

    Reply

  10. oldegg
    Sep 20, 2018 @ 07:00:24

    Sad though such events are, what strength they showed in being able to take their own life. I would be too weak to do that.

    Reply

  11. Charmed Chaos
    Sep 20, 2018 @ 12:09:17

    24 years ago my husband committed suicide. You never get over it, rather you learn to live through it.

    Reply

  12. purplepeninportland
    Sep 20, 2018 @ 12:23:10

    So dark and cold, particularly the mention of snap, snap, snap in black and white.

    Reply

  13. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Sep 20, 2018 @ 16:40:07

    The only case of someone surviving jumping from the Golden Gate bridge was the he regretted jumping the moment he left the railing… then he remember falling and next waking up at a hospital… I think very few really want to die… except a few in physical pain.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 20, 2018 @ 16:45:38

      My friend truly wanted to die. He was in deep emotional pain and life just wasn’t getting it anymore for him. The other friend? who can know. We are all of us puzzled at his death. But I imagine he visited a dark place once too often.

      Reply

  14. sarahsouthwest
    Sep 20, 2018 @ 17:00:49

    The personal aspect of this is heartbreaking, and I’m sorry for your pain. As a poem, I think it’s a very powerful piece. The contrast between the formal, impersonal language at the start and the questioning at the end is very well done.

    Reply

  15. Glenn Buttkus
    Sep 20, 2018 @ 17:01:16

    The image of you as a coroner’s photographer blended over you as a chef, merged with you in a tree, or working out with your sword–damn, you have lived such a rich life; part of what makes you such a great poet.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 20, 2018 @ 17:03:53

      I worked my way through my MS program being an autopsy photographer. I have never been one to stand around and wait on life to come to me. I still work out with my sword and still play the violin to the trees – all on the same day, whild doing volunteer cooking down at the Food Bank for the hungry.

      Reply

  16. Beverly Crawford
    Sep 20, 2018 @ 17:41:43

    Your words are stark and graphic. I have not been touched by suicide, but I know others who have, and they are left with unbearable grief, and unanswered questions and, somehow, guilt feeling they could have diverted the action.

    Reply

  17. Grace
    Sep 20, 2018 @ 17:53:07

    How sad and dark to die like that. I always wonder what dark places these people have gone into.

    Sorry to read about your friends too.

    Reply

  18. scotthastiepoet
    Sep 20, 2018 @ 17:55:30

    Chilling piece – not sure why I’ve never thought of exploring this topic myself someday – the hanging man… I think I might make it a woman, when I give it a go…

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 20, 2018 @ 19:10:30

      Statistically more men hang themselves than women. Both if my friends hung themselves so this is not a “what if I imagine ” poem. It is firmly rooted in cold hard truth.

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  19. coalblack
    Sep 20, 2018 @ 19:07:03

    There are some things I don’t want to know. It would be too much.

    Reply

  20. V.J. Knutson
    Sep 20, 2018 @ 19:07:12

    Stripping away the possibilities and exposing the cold, hard truth. Shocking and yet, this is death.

    Reply

  21. Dorianna
    Sep 20, 2018 @ 20:34:20

    Stark. grim and lamentable…yes, one has to wonder. Puts me in mind of times I would walk thru graveyards and read tombstones. One such time I came upon a tombstone that was in the shape of a tree stump with hangman’s rope encircling it. I stood there a very long time wondering why this person was probably hung as there was not even given a name on the tombstone. One has to wonder.

    Reply

  22. claudia
    Sep 21, 2018 @ 07:10:15

    this is so tough…losing someone to suicide. i like your clear voice in that a lot. matter of fact in a way like taking a pic but clearly heartfelt as well without pressuring it

    Reply

  23. Frank Hubeny
    Sep 21, 2018 @ 08:02:49

    I especially liked these two lines: “I wonder what dark place he visited
    before he embarked on his final journey.”

    Reply

  24. memadtwo
    Sep 21, 2018 @ 22:27:07

    It’s a wonder that makes you catch your breath. (K)

    Reply

  25. Lona Gynt
    Sep 22, 2018 @ 05:26:20

    “One has to wonder, one has to grieve.”

    I love how you commit in those lines to the humanity that connects us all. The stark clinical facts are a means to an end, but the love is the purpose. I have posted about my own close calls, but each situation is as different as the flakes in a winter storm. We are, even if we don’t realize it, at some level, merely survivors… it is some sort of connection that helps one to live… and sometimes mere medication. Strange, beautiful, and deadly world we inhabit…
    Remembrances like yours here is an honor to this person whom we all should miss. 😔

    Reply

  26. Mish
    Sep 22, 2018 @ 09:51:23

    Wow, Toni…you are always full of surprises in sharing your experiences. Love that about you..
    I would think that those last thoughts would be so grueling. On one hand, knowing this is the end, but on the other, immense pain and helplessness for whatever the individual is going through. I like the way you blend the factual part of it all with the wonder and grief. All reality.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 22, 2018 @ 17:17:10

      Thank you Mish. I lost two friends to suicide this year. One was expected, really. The other? From out of the blue. I am still reeling over it and wondering why. I have done a lot in my life. It makes up for this quiet time of my life, I guess! LOL

      Reply

      • Mish
        Sep 22, 2018 @ 19:10:55

        I’m so sorry for your loss. It would be terrible to never know why. Amazing how some can bury their pain so deep it cant be seen.

        Reply

  27. lillian
    Sep 24, 2018 @ 12:23:50

    Oh my gosh, Toni! What a post! And it never ceases to amaze me as you divulge more and more about how you are….a chef and a lover of Japanese haiku (the real ones) and now an autopsy photographer. Somehow for me, this last revelation doesn’t square with the woman who writes of her beautiful yard, the cherry blossoms . . .
    And yes — the poem really hits me. Some say that suicide is a coward’s way out. I think, actually, it is the opposite. It takes a total giving up of hope and a huge amount of courage to step off into the ground unknown. That is not to say, I think positively of this act. It is such a depth of despair.
    Well written! I’m catching up on reading a couple hours before I host dVerse today. Hope you’ll stop by 🙂

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 24, 2018 @ 12:41:46

      That woman was a long time ago but I still loved beauty and cherry blossoms in spite of the ugliness or, because of it. I am sure you are not the same woman who lived on an Idaho farm but there are vestiges of her in you. I will see about stopping by. I have a busy schedule today. Take care dear Lillian.

      Reply

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