The Storyteller in the Graveyard – A Poem

cemetery under the cloudy sky

Many of my poems are happy. This one is not.

It’s a lament for the countless stories that are lost, every day, as memories die with the people who lived them. I feel this lament when I walk through a graveyard, when I explore an old house crumbling with age, when I put my hand on a vine-covered old chimney standing all alone where once was a home full of life. The history is so close to me, and yet so far away. All the stories, all the details, are lost forever.

Lost because no one recorded them. Lost because no one remembers.

If only I could write them all!

The Storyteller in the Graveyard

Oft I walk here
Close to weeping
Midst the graves of history sleeping
With my fingers
Gently sweeping
Shriveled leaves from marble stones

Only dates and
Names remaining
Or an epitaph explaining
So few words and
Yet containing
All that’s left of lives forgot

I weep not for
Death or dying
Nor the grieving family sighing
No, the thought that
Leaves me crying
Is the stories no one knows

For to die is
All men’s ending
Broken hearts can hope for mending
But forgotten
Lives are rending
Pages from our history

I can feel them
Stories slipping
Through my hands like water dripping
Though I stand here
Fingers gripping
Yet I cannot stem the tide

Catch them, catch them!
They are going
Memories fading; no one knowing
Lifetimes lost like
Water flowing
Off the jagged edge of time

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