Book of the Dead

Marie Bortolotto

Marie Bortolotto

I had a book
in which I wrote
the names of the dead
at whose graves I had stood
the good the bad the ordinary
Empty`handed they had arrived
Empty`handed they departed
What they were was written
`up in their obituaries
but who they were
only God knows

God and those
standing in silence
who for some reason
had come to say fare`well
to someone who had touched
their lives simply by their living
had blessed them with a kiss
or cursed them by a word
Hurt or healed we lay
our burdens down
and trust God

“Dead men are heavier than broken hearts” ~ Raymond Chandler


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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4 Responses to Book of the Dead

  1. I admit having cursed at a few gravesites, but I’ve cried at many more – too many more

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cheryl Ruffing says:

    This is lovely, Peter. Your differentiation between “what they were” and “who they were” is trenchant.


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