In The Graves
Round a bend on a cracked path
As old as the bone chits that are pressed in
Six feet under,
I stand to the side
Beneath a leafless tree
That stands as a natural rival
To the church's spire across the main road.
I stand under its many feet
Like I've died a thousand deaths
When the truth is I've only died once.
From over the neatly-trimmed hedge of a house
A dark maroon cat slips its way across
It only stops once to analyse
The new corpse staring catiously at
It's alert yet unalarmed eyes.
Brushing it's fur against my legs
And coming through the middle
Like a just-born,
It stops, sits down, looks momentarily at me
And then yawns like a child
Who has heard too many bedtime stories
And is now too old.
The chorus of birds seems
To get in its head;
With him looking at one
His blind ignorance;
His over-flowing arrogance.
It stains the floor dripping over
As he claws his way
Up the tree.
It complains and sways
Hoping that he will fall away
Which he does.
I thought he may have learnt his place
When he made his way back to the house
But he only sat on a wide headstone
Above and aloof
Like the cat he was
In tombstone town.
I came and sat down near him.
Maybe he'd understand that.
It seemed though that my
Best thoughtful face wouldn't do;
Perhaps it was that I'm another tree
Without an ability to speak
And without squirrels and crows
To make me worth climbing.
After 10 minutes or so though
He went just as he came,
Off down the path and around the bend.
He must have went out to find a body
With blood and moving hands,
Unlike the reception he had from
Me and my buried community.
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Poet's Notes about The Poem
Comments about this poem (In The Graves by Sandy Player )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
James Weldon Johnson
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