Mama says headstones quiet the spirit
give it place in a fickle world.
I don’t believe her so she drags
me to the cemetery and sobs
for my soul over her papa’s grave.
She tends to the sick and teaches
Sunday school until the doctor
finds a lump. Mama turns her face
from him in tears. "Why me Lord?"
I bury her close to her parents
near mimosa, shading marble
embossed with her likeness.
Years later I visit Emerson’s tomb
granite larger than a kitchen table.
Even this transcendentalist
stakes a claim to a piece of earth.
Chella Courington, from _Southern Girl Gone Wrong_, Foothills Publishing