Alive, She Cried

through the cemetery
On a crisp autumn morning.
through monuments
to the long dead and mostly forgotten.

Blue sky, gray clouds,
blazing leaves.
A fire in the sky.

The ground is giving;
still soft and spongy
from yesterday’s rain.
It feels like plush carpet
under my feet.

I’m comfortable here,
through space and time.
1792. 1865. 1747.

Familiar surnames
and well-known bible verses
chiseled carefully by hand.
I write a story for each stone.

A large looming Husband.
Beside Him, his devoted wife.
A tiny tombstone
for their still-born child.
His mistress off behind the tree.

A Doctor. A Lawyer. A Statesman.
A Slave.
Once important men of industry and means,
and all of the folks who lifted them
while they lived.

And they did, they lived!
So long ago, they lived.
Three hundred years before me.
Three hundred years before
I walked on this,
their blanket of fallen leaves,
in this, their last livingroom,
their final resting place.

The sadness slowly
washes over me in a wave.
I could drown under
the weight of it.
I feel so small.
So meaningless and mortal.
So utterly insignificant.

I take a breath,
I blink.
Through misty eyes, I see her.
Standing there,
above me,
in all of her broken beauty,
looking down at me.
And all at once I feel seen.
I am acknowledged
and understood.
I am alive.
Alive! and beautiful.


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