Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Ghost Ethnographer

"A lifetime isn't enough
To know how a person will
Behave." Only death would know

What a ghost would consider
Appropriate behavior.
Death's the ghosts' ethnographer.

Thick description, notation,
Careful quantification,
And, of course, random sampling

All suggest that people are
Transformed by death. They do not
Laugh or carp. They are calmer.

Most of them are small children
And infants who lived rural
Lives for a few years or hours.

There are more males than females,
More soldiers than generals,
And not a lot in their prime.

The whole society lacks
Industrious middle age
And, because they are dead, do

Little to improve themselves.
It's a myth justice matters
To ghosts. They have no motives,

They have no motion, they are
Indifferent to existence,
However detailed their lives

And different from each other.
I invited them to be
My informants. They declined.

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