Union Line Cemetery
In a graveyard in Mississippi
Lie the bones of a woman I loved
And those of a man I did not,
Though I am more like him than her.
Down a paved road off the federal highway
Slicing diagonally from Mobile,
The road turns sharply as if
It was meant to end dead
But as if someone moved the gates
The bent road goes on precisely south
While the sun goes west away from the graves.
Marble benches wait through the undisturbed dust
For me to stop to pick sand spurs from my dress socks
And prick my fingers and remember I am alive.
While under clumps of low growing weeds,
Neat green grass and bare spots
These dead people rest in a Mississippi summer quiet,
As they do in winter beneath a midnight ice storm.
Dead, yes, they are dead,
But I am alive and they are why I am so.
They keep us, our families, ourselves alive.
I wonder if in a few years when I am dead,
Ashes tossed in the Mississippi,
Will I hold anyone connected or only be dust,
Forever blown about where the delta turns to sea?
Curious if anyone think my editing improved the poem?
posted 7 months ago. ( permalink )