Lonnie Hicks

Freshman - 614 Points (www.lonniehicks.com / Chicago Ill)

The Cemetery Of Hearts - Poem by Lonnie Hicks

It was a Cemetery of Hearts
laid out in neat rectangular squares
tombstone engravings of individual stories;
of loves lost and betrayed,
tear-ravaged love trysts.
love cuts, severed
or grief-laden,
all buried in Innocent's Ground
from whence they came.

I peered at the writing on first tombstone and then some others:

'He led me on and then made love to my mother
all this to me unknown.' one said

'I died in childbirth alone after having been exiled
from my home to a nunnery.'

'She plotted against me with my best friend.'

'She told me the baby was mine.'

'I died of grief in a sex war and of an affection-less marriage.'

My love and I were shot lying together.'

One said:
'Dead hearts murdered by rage or fear are the worst;
these hearts die gnarled and alone.'

The caretaker addressed me:
'What are you doing here? ' he said.

'I came to bury my heart with the rest of them.' I said.

'Really he said. Let me have a look.
This heart, ' he said is not really dead.

'I can't bury a heart that is yet alive.
that would be murder and wrong;
away with you.
You are premature. Go. Take this heart
and feed it, make it live again.'

I was shocked. To me this rejection was
yet another heart-ache to endure.

'My heart is not dead enough? ' I said.

'That's right, ' he said, yours is merely slightly used
and a little bruised but not dead.'
This cemetery is Innocent Ground,
a healing place for deceased hearts,
not ones merely tired and bruised.'

'Go back out there, take some courage from this dream.
The sores on your heart will heal
and be stronger then
for someone else you'll meet.

'You are stronger than you think.
We are really short of space here
we take only the really bad heart cases.'

'Go he said
dive right back in.'

He was right.
'And, ' he said
'Never underestimate the human heart;
it is the human brain that most times
that's wrong and prematurely deceased.'

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Poem Edited: Tuesday, January 26, 2010

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