The Dead Don’t Write – Chella Courington

The Dead Don’t Write

But my cousin’s letter arrives three days
after he’s blown away by some kid

in his own platoon.
Maybe another Georgia boy

who’s never been so far from home
so scared he shoots at anything

moving in shadows.
The letter feels light

for my cousin’s voice.
He speaks of sheer petals rising

out of muddy fields
spreading before the sun.

Of a copper heron in shallow water
who dips his black-tipped beak

to spear his prey.



Chella Courington is a writer and teacher whose poetry and stories appear or are forthcoming in numerous anthologies and journals including SmokeLong Quarterly, The Collagist, and The Los Angeles Review. Her novella, Adele and Tom: The Portrait of a Marriage, is available at Breaking Rules Publishing. (


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