This was written in Clark Cemetery, Whittier, California, one October afternoon in 2010. Once I had meditated on the this name, I let my mind go, and the words flowed out of me like water from a faucet. This poem is one of 73 extended epitaphs from my published book, Voices from Clark Cemetery. It is now avaiable at Amazon, Barnes & Noble.com, And Lulu.com.
Nellie Gray Holland
1885 – 1899
I was never aware of the clock ticking
Or the spring spreading of the rose bud in my mother’s green garden.
I never saw the moonrise on a gray October night,
Or tasted the tart fruit of first love.
I never heard the cry of my baby
Or felt the warm heartbeat of a husband next to mine.
For birthdays and holidays
I lit the candles,
A dozen scented red candles,
And watched the ghostly shadows flicker on the walls
Of my mother’s special sitting room.
Shadows that danced and swayed and galloped.
Shadows that understood me
And listened to me.
They knew of my weak diseased heart
And of my impending early exit from Earth.
Clark Cemetery is beautiful in the fall.
The owls in the trees screech loudly
And the western winds make a music only I can hear.
My friend, will you kindly light a candle for me?
I am in the dark here
And I wish to see the dancing shadows again.