Sunday, January 1, 2023

Poem #8: In a Cemetery

Happy New Year! I ended 2022 on a high note with an Honorable Mention in the Illinois State Poetry Society 2022 Poetry Contest in the Free Verse category. The seeds of this poem, "In a Cemetery," were sown all the way back in 2004 during a grave rubbing exercise at a local cemetery in Frederick, Maryland, for one of my college Biology classes. Talk about a work in progress, but worth the wait:

I stand before my work and gather odd satisfaction.
Tracing others’ heavy layers of mortality
            (rubbing facts, figures, and inscriptions),
            I ignore my own.

I find myself on a roadway between eras.
Modern plots to my right, ancient ones to my left—
            One side glittering rows of teeth,
            The other a nest of jutting bones.

I’m filled with a peculiar joy that I’m here and it’s such a pretty day.
That I’ve ambled along these quiet pathways,
            Standing next to graves lined in perfect, sunken rows,
            And feel at peace among them.

"In a Cemetery," copyright 2023 Amelia Cotter (Honorable Mention, Free Verse Award, Illinois State Poetry Society 2022 Poetry Contest)

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