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Melissa Lont 1825 - 1911

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Poet's Notes

This is one of 73 extended epitaphs from my published book, Voices from Clark Cemetery, now available at, Barnes & and

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Melissa Lont 1825 - 1911

Melissa Lont

1825 - 1911

How does one as low and humble as I
Sum up my life of 86 years
In a mere poem as brief and short-lived
As life itself?
And what is the secret to my long life?
What do I know that you, my friend,
Would like to know
About success and survival?
About good health and good luck?
My answer is this:
Do not complain and do not explain! Never!
And as for being married all those years to Doctor Lont?
Well, truth be known, like Hera,
I knew of my husband’s infidelities.
But I also knew to look the other way
And pretend to not see or know!
I admired Ida Kincaid for her sacrifices to maternity.
But I loathed Ida Kincaid for her matrimonial mendacity.
At her funeral in June of 1903
I aloofly stood across the way
There on dusty Broadway Street
Under the bulbous blue jacarandas
Screaming hallelujahs!
As Mr. White lowered her cream-colored coffin into the Netherworld!
And when Doctor Lont, my husband of 41 years, died of the consumption,
I did not cry nary a tear!
Why should I have?
Now I too am resting within this hard ground next to him.
Next to the man, my man in perpetual suspenders from Springfield,
My man who never ceased being a boy.

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  1. Date: 9/12/2013 6:00:00 AM
    this is excellent! Cindy

  1. Date: 9/11/2013 10:09:00 PM
    Stark, a deep, poem... wow...Linda

  1. Date: 9/2/2013 5:40:00 PM
    What wonderful stories! Of common ordinary people whose lives had a effect on many of those who crossed their paths. Fresh perspectives we can enjoy on Poetry Soup. Allan

  1. Date: 4/28/2013 4:24:00 AM
    Poignant! Terry