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Percival Jordan - 1892 - 1912

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Percival Jordan - 1892 - 1912

Poem 18

Percival Jordan

1892 - 1912

I am where I am
Because of who I was.
I imbibed a million breaths
And observed the stars dotting the night skies
Like actors taking the stage for another eternal encore.
I am in the air
As I am in the ground.
And I know the truth now.
Life was an impossible possibility.
Born of pleasure and fear and desperation.
And I’m relieved the ridiculous race is over.
I spent most of my carefree days here in Clark Cemetery.
Helping Artilissa water the flowers.
And as a boy I played amidst the sunken graves.
I sat in silence like a scheming spider
Under the stretching shadows of the old tombstones.
I wrote poems to the dead 
And read the Psalms aloud 
With my many lady friends dressed in silk
Sitting scandalously close to me.
Under a darkening full moon shade one evening
I kissed Ethel Woodstock on the lips
And I released my emerging manhood
With a simmering sigh.
I felt strangely odd when Ethel died that night,
Enveloped in her mother’s helpless embrace.
I placed a rose bud upon her mahogany casket
And I cried as a light rain descended
Upon the drinking gorged ground around us..
Indeed I was the annoying little boy in the graveyard;
That flim-flaming rascal
With the cocky smirk of a broken gentleman.
With costumed enterprise,
I tricked many a passerby
With repeated low-moaning dirges
From behind the Hadley tombstone.
Their screams were hilarious but they never caught me.
God knows I had plans.
Plans to be a lawyer.
Plans to be an electrician. 
Plans to be married and to find peace of mind.
But when I awoke one cold morning in 1912,
My bed was soaked in warm blood,
And all my plans were forever harvested by the Grim One.
I love Clark Cemetery in the autumn.
When the leaves turn dark and deadly.
When the rippling landscape illuminates the truth and finality of all things.
Life is just a fast-moving storm
And none of us has the time to notice the returning rainbow.
Oh, for a simple cup of coffee again!

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