STAGES OF DECOMPOSITION

1. Fresh

So recent
the death is almost
Unrecognizable.
The stench hasn’t
settled
like the years before.
The wound is still bleeding
and we can’t yet make it
Stop.
Like the death that has
Unknowingly
Taken us All.

2. Bloat

And we all rise up
with the realization
of what has come upon us.
The slow suicide we
brought upon ourselves.
This violence
we Chose
by abstaining to make a choice
Now we all rise
as we all
Sink
Down.

3. Active Decay

Now we see it,
and it’s too late
to change
our course away from
Falling Apart.
We
Are
In
Pieces.
No Longer
Standing
United.

4. Advanced Decay

We can’t quite
Remember
what it was like
to
Fall.
to
Rise.
to
Stand.
We can’t quite
Remember
Ourselves.

5. Remains

The disappearance
of what was
is
Complete.
That which was
Is no longer.
Now They stand
where We stood.
As has always been.
This is the Cycle.
Life will always rise from the
Remains.

about the author
Colleen Freeze is a junior at Kettering Fairmont High School, and an editor of the school’s literary magazine, Aerie. She has had poems published in that publication two of the last three years, and hopes to do so again in her final year at Fairmont.