#3: On walks during the pandemic
There is a cemetery across the street
And when this started, I’d walk there for exercise
Before the dead consumed us, these dead stood guard
Perhaps they knew what was coming but couldn’t warn us.
It was wonderful, wandering the steep paths among the quiet
Getting lost in the carefully arranged geometry of the departed,
With only the occasional interruption of reality
When the person coming toward you drifted to the opposite side
Out of fear.
I’d stop at the random grave, preferring the older headstones
Wondering who had died at nineteen in 1943
Or who had been lost at six months in 1890.
Was it just time and circumstance?
Sacrificed to a war, consequences of medical inequalities,
Perhaps victims of a crime?
Tombstones are elusive storytellers
That give us only the ending
So our imaginations run wild.
So what do these residents say to those who come to join them?
The cemetery was quickly closed
And we can’t see the surge happening behind the gates
We are no different than them
Our lives, once ended, as mysterious as when we began.