A Walk In The Cemetery Poem by Romella Kitchens

Romella Kitchens

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

A Walk In The Cemetery



The stones sag after a while.
Even the stones of young men.
Flat metal plaques covered in
grass for the
poor.

When my mother prepared for death,
she sat silently, then picked a plot here
in Pittsburgh...

Double. For her and my father.
The cemetery director told her, 'No, mamn.
You can not pick plots just anywhere in
the plan, as a 'negro.' You have to pick in a
'Colored' area. Here. See? You're a nice
'Colored' lady, we can put you near the
Robert Vann Mausoleum. Lots of educated
folks like yourself and your husband there.
We bury Jewish folks with the stones facing
the opposite way and together. We have Italians
in this area, ' he said pointing at the large diagram.
That is just the way we do it. That is just the
way it has been done for decades.'

My mother felt ill but had no choice but to accept,
no where else to bury my father.

Later that evening, deer ran through the cemetery
past the wormwood, Flox and Forsythia through the
brush and out.

My mother lay in a darkened bedroom and wept.

Thursday, April 17, 2014
Topic(s) of this poem: race
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Romella Kitchens

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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