December 2012 - Comments Off on North End Graveyard

North End Graveyard

Laura Creste '13

Cowed by time, the graves slump into the earth at embarrassed
angles. The little gray stones with weather-bitten contours
lean into the mother monument. I see a crowd of infants
until I read the names of grown men printed squarely.
They anticipate the only question we would ask of them

died at sea

Reminders of childhood Halloween cakes: chocolate cake dirt brown
with Milano’s standing as graves, iced to read RIP in fat letters:
the idea of death without the horror of specificity. Tootsie pops
sheathed in tissue to make round-faced ghosts, with pen-inked smiles.
Ghosts are the exception, making a mockery of death.
We read Tuck Everlasting in 4th grade, as a balm for the dread
of a full decade, when grandparents begin to die or when you learn
that the sun will burn out, the clichéd and real fear it inspires.
The moral of Tuck is about the cyclical rightness of death,
and eternal life, less a blessing than curse. We would not believe it.
Not everyone can live forever, but I should I should.

Published by: in Poetry, Volume 69: Issue 1

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