Land of Ruin

Give me an armless angel
with an eroded face.
Bury me in an ivy-clad
graveyard, where you can let
my grave go untended.
Leave me in a land of ruin.

Don’t you dare deposit
me in a land left flat
for the convenience
of the lawn mower.
Plant a crop above me.
Feed the poor or provide flowers.

On that day of many dusks
when you must let me go,
remember a distant cemetery
near a college football field.
Open a bottle of wine
and remember the stolen
kisses of our youth, the illicit
thrill of a midnight ramble
in a neglected graveyard.

Kristin Berkey-Abbott
May 9, 2011

In response to Dave’s Highgate Cemetery photos. See the post at Kristin’s blog for background and process notes.

2 Comments


  1. Thanks for letting me reprint the poem, Kristin. This got me thinking about all the uses, licit and illicit, to which cemeteries can be put: make-out sessions, seances, acts of desecration, homeless encampments… to which list we should perhaps add tourism.

    Reply

    1. Very nice… always liked cemeteries, too. We had a huge one behind our backyard, and they are also useful for illegal 4th of July fireworks.

      Reply

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