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Going the Distance with Katrina's Dead

Poet and funeral director Thomas Lynch has been thinking a lot these past couple of weeks about New Orleans and how the dead are precious to those who survive them.

"Wherever our spirits go or don't, ours is a species that has learned to deal with death -- the idea of the thing -- by dealing with the dead -- the thing itself -- in all the flesh and frailty of our human condition," he says.

In response to the disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina, Lynch wrote a new poem, "Local Heroes," first published on NPR.org:

 

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