The Gravestones

“This place of mourning knows no rest;

It has not breathed, it has not slept.

It waited whilst the people wept;

To comfort them it did its best.

The ground there is quite soft with tears,

The grass is wet with dew and pain.

And though it’s shelter from the rain,

It’s not enough to quench their fears.

The weeping people came in herds

To say goodbye to those they miss.

To end love with a final kiss

And try to kill the pain with words.

But words can never fill the need

To bring to light the way one feels.

They came there in the hopes to heal;

They came for love and hope and greed.

The tombstones there have tired ears,

But they will listen just as well.

They hear your crying—can’t you tell?—

But can’t respond to what they hear.

They guard the living and the dead,

Though their kind deeds may go unknown.

You can’t root up the seeds they’ve sewn,

Even when your heart feels thick as lead.

That place, it breathes like you and I.

It guides us when we’re feeling lost.

Though being there will have great cost,

The Stones will keep our chins held high.

When you wear your funeral dress,

There is naught for you to fear,

For I will hold your hand, my dear.

(Though I too fear, I must confess.)

Don’t let the tears stain your plump cheeks

For we have so much left to do.

Let’s do as mother taught us to:

Let us be strong though we are weak.”

That’s what I to my sister said:

When demons crowded in her head.

When she was crying in her bed.

When our mother had been three days dead.


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