Walking This Cemetery at the Edge of Town – Richard Luftig

Here is the last of three poems Richard sent us. This one stands by itself in attribute to the solitude it describes. Winter can make all places seem lonelier, but especially the one described here. We suppose annual breaks from the visitations of seasonal friends are just another part of the cycle.




Walking This Cemetery at the Edge of Town

The winter rain drips

from the bare arms

of these sentry oaks


while the moon threads

its light through needles

of western pine.


These markers so old

that even the dates

have disappeared


like memories

the dead possess

for the living


that went on before

them. Why, like monks,

do the weeds overgrowing


the headstones maintain

their orders of silence?

Out here you’d like


to think that the lilies

on the far edge

of the untended pond


would resurrect

themselves into

spring and perhaps


crickets that linger

in afternoon heat

would have something


to say on the matter.

But nothing remains

save for these grave


stones and the dead

leaves, mute wherever

they have come to reside.



Richard is a former professor of educational psychology and special education at Miami University in Ohio now residing in California. His poems and stories have appeared in numerous literary journals in the United States and internationally in Canada, Australia, Europe, and Asia. His poems have been nominated for the Pushcart prize and two poems recently appeared in Realms of the Mothers: The First Decade of Dos Madres Press. His latest book of poems will be forthcoming from Unsolicited Press in 2019. Richard’s webpage and blog may be found at richardluftig.com

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