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Gary Fincke: The Local Cemetery

I went by myself, late

In the summer, looking

At first, over my shoulder

Like some clumsy spy.

I walked to the brightest

Cut flowers and paid

Attention to last week’s date,

The name of a woman

From my street. Her husband

Had come here yesterday.

He had looked, I supposed,

At his dates, 1920-199_,

Giving himself four years,

And I have been with my father

When he stood on the grass

And said, “You can always

Find me here.” He gestured

And meant me to think

Of the nearby plot as mine;

I kept walking and found

Whole families, like ours,

Together for a hundred years,

Settled in from Europe

And never moving again,

Never thinking of moving,

And even now, my sister

Has moved back to Pittsburgh,

Two miles from my father,

And asks when I’m coming home,

Says she has purchased space

In the Garden of Dreams,

Which, so far, leaves me out,

Kicking the earth hundreds

Of miles away, picking up

The one stone I’ve seen in all

Of this grass and sailing it

Into the trees where it rattles

And falls into silence.


Copyright 2021 Gary Fincke. Previously published in Poetry and in Blood Ties, Time Being Books.

Gary Fincke has won numerous awards for his writing, including the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry Magazine. He lives in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

2 comments on “Gary Fincke: The Local Cemetery

  1. Barbara Huntington
    August 31, 2021

    When we start burying ( or scattering) thoughts come. Mom in an urn next to her second husband, dad in a bird sanctuary, my husband scattered, yet on place is under a eucalyptus tree by a common route and I often say hi as I drive by. I think I want to provide unburnt nutrients for a forest tree.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. daninmaya
    August 31, 2021

    I like this poem a lot. A quote is trying to come to me from somewhere: don’t look for me there….

    Liked by 2 people

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This entry was posted on August 31, 2021 by in Health and Nutrition, Poetry and tagged , , , , .

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