originally published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, used with permission of the poet
The Friends Southwestern Burial Ground
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