Thursday, February 7, 2008

& to dust you shall return...

in late winter light
a deserted path
i trod;
crunching on last
summer's bounty,
i listened
with my heart's ear
to her words
over time
& was drawn
to the peaceful
tired hillside,
no sound
but call of lone crow.

slab of granite
upturned to face God
names etched...
i read my sad history
& mourned
their forgottenness.

it touched my heart:
they were babes
laid here by grieving parents,
not one left to hold,
all were gone.
how did they manage to move forward
from this?

how does one leave
all her children
on this cold hillside
alone & still?
the weight of her grief
hurt my heart
on the walk back
to my life;

i said a prayer
for her strength
that i hoped would travel
back over time passed
& ease her burden
just a little
so that she
could walk this path too.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
with love to my great-grandma who bore this burden in 1897, burying all four of her children in the space of one week...

8 comments:

Ričardas said...

great poem and I'm sure your prayers will go as far as needed

paisley said...

what an immeasurable sadness... i love to walk in cemeteries and read the stones... so many people have lost multiple children.. how do they live thru it... i will never know....

lissa said...

sad but full of hope.

noahthegreat said...

Nobody should have to go through that.

Was it supposed to be "babies" instead of babes in one of the stanzas? I suppose it works either way, but I think of babes in a totally different light.

susan said...

the prayer and grief ring authentic here.

qualcosa di bello said...

ricardas...i believe that is so. & thanks for your inspiring cemetery visit/haiku this week!

paisley...me too! but this one was personal. & i don't know how parents cope with that experience.

lissa...that's precisely what i was feeling.

noah...it was meant to be "babes" but is see your manly plight with it! :D

susan...thank you.

writerwoman said...

how does one leave
all her children
on this cold hillside
alone & still?


such a powerful section. The question lingers without end or answers.

UL said...

so very touching and sad, this must be the worst pain one can live with...life is so very cruel sometimes..