All Souls Narrative
Picnics by the graveside, skull candy, many
lights inside the darkness, families
the dead who live again in heaven always
and with us here just now in our memorial
family outings can be sacred, then this
There was a small cemetery across
the street from where I lived; I would
walk there and once
enjoyed a staring contest with a deer.
We’d look; whoever took a step toward
the other, the other would move back:
an hour of this, and we were done.
On another night and once a year, respectful
people would show up to place a candle
on each stone; this was
unofficial yet quietly and happily done—a
day of the dead
for the living.
There was music, too.
The deer would object, I’m sure, the
flames, the crowd, the noise
however small, and all; but
Deer has all the forest behind
and, I’m sure, its own way
of remembering, as I
in the days I have until remembrance
will be for someone else.
C L Couch