among the gravestones

Sophia Schaffer '23
A bent old man in the cemetery,
the flowers he did tend,
White lilies unfurled at his feet 
to watch his life transcend. 

The untrimmed grass hissed with ghosts of the past 
as the graves were engulfed by the green,
And there the man lay with his skin faded grey 
and his body decaying unseen.

He’d nurtured the graveyard with pious devotion, 
coaxing the new life from out of dead soil,
In thunder and sunshine I saw him at labor, 
though barely a nod he received for his toil.

We might not have noticed his absence at all, 
if not for the creep of the grass and the vine;
They crawled from the fence to cradle their keeper, 
a tender farewell, a pillow and shrine.

The grizzled old coot, snipping the hedges,
polishing headstones and weeding the beds,
Has laid down his trowel in the place of his ministry,
returning at last to the home of the dead. 

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