in the middle of the night

The nightmares, those are the worst part. Never knowing when they’ll come, never knowing how to stop them. I see him.

I see him standing straight, exuding strength despite his thin frame. I see him leading oxen, carrying our children, cooling himself off with his hat. I see him getting impossibly thinner, standing less straight.

Then I see my daughter kneeling before him, wiping his brow, giving him water, feeding him thin rice porridge. I see my sons taking turns pulling the cart he sits in.

It was a long walk. A march. They told us it was over, but it wasn’t over. We were all so thin. Him, especially.

He can’t walk any more. He lies there, barely able to move or speak. Sick. Starving. My husband.

My husband, who didn’t make it.

Are they still nightmares if they are memories?

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