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The Lost Grave

Writing.ie | Member Blog

Hubert O'Hearn

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(I occasionally write poetry and as the site I usually post in is down, I thought I’d share this one here. I TRULY appreciate comments.)




The Lost Grave

I walked to town in a cooling mist

Curious to see how my legs would do

On rolling hills and steep-pitched valleys

My legs did fine

But even better? My mind.

I’d passed the graveyard a hundred times

Rushing past, no time to waste

Significance determined by pace of cars

This time there was time

To pause and look about

First seeing a red fire truck in a lucite box

Facing a small headstone

Waiting for a smaller fireman

To jump in its cab

Next the flowers

So bright amidst the grey

Grey of sky, grey of stone, grey of trees

Like a trumped-up photograph

Or the red ball in Schindler’s List

Each grave tended

Each name still loved

Whelan, Leary, Graves and Dunne

McKinley, McKinley

Eaves and Fromme

Mooney and Shatter

Flattery and Moore

And there the one grave

Far back from the rest

Not new, not the first of a fresh line

Of a ghostly platoon called to order

But fifty feet back from the rest



Was this the plot of some man long past

Who intended that he be surrounded by descendants

Who would be today’s ancestors

Yet was shunned by those for something evil done

Or did they just move…

Perhaps to Utica, New York?

Someone remembers.

For on this grave

(I shall not say the name)

There was one simple pot of flowers

With a fat white wax candle

Standing proudly in their midst.

I said a prayer

My memory has not failed so badly

That I have forgotten how a prayer goes

And I lit the candle with my lighter

For even in spring, the sun sets early

And a bit of light and warmth

May yet be appreciated

By a ghost.

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