originally published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, used with permission of the poet

The Friends Southwestern Burial Ground

Gravestones in the Spring

Gravestones in the Spring

The place is loaded up with dead, but still

The low white tombstones hunkered in the grass

Are baby teeth that harbor no ill will.

Its stony wall and gothic fence encompass

A rural oasis tucked among the lanes

Of anxious row homes, corner stores, and taverns.

At night the brakes of the commuter trains

Screech faintly beneath the screech of its environs.

There, death is made to seem a shutting out

Of all the noise and fuss of dailiness,

And somehow we feel more at ease about

The last breath we all have awaiting us.

Outside its gates, this life’s so thick with grief

That we can hardly wait for that relief.

- Luke Stromberg, originally published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, used with permission of the poet