April 5, 2013

Old Ground


My mother's buried
on the bottom
of a steep hill, the plot
hard to reach, best
seen from outside
the cemetery,
at the end of an old
street, through
a spiked iron fence
built to keep us out.
Her moss-covered
stone leans now,
the letters
black with age,
her dates enclosing
a life much shorter
than the time
she has been here,
briefer still than those
with whom she lies,
all long-lived English,
willful and stubborn,
like me, refusing to die
even in the face
of hard facts; unlike her,
swept away at the first
sign of trouble,
a sleepless night,
a fever, taken from us,
before we even knew
she was gone.

4/5/13