Monday, April 9, 2012

Poem-A-Day 009: Shady Grove

Today's prompt is to write a shady poem. This is perfect, because a very important place in our family history is our cemetery, Shady Grove. I cannibalized bits of my novel, Reprieve, to write this descriptive poem.

Shady Grove

No grand entrance precedes
the rutted track
leading to Shady Grove.
No wrought-iron gates.
No Gothic statues.
No moss-veined angels.
Only a break in the pines
and a green highway sign
that says “Cemetery”
with a white arrow
pointing right.

Pines tower over the road,
woven together by a net
of honeysuckle vines
and poison ivy.
Soon the forest curtain
gives way to a sloping field
piled deep with grass
so green it hurts your eyes.
Yellow sunflowers
and pink buttercups bob
under drips of rain
along the fence posts.

The chapel rests on raised pylons,
a doe asleep on folded fetlocks,
eyes closed and softly breathing
the fetid scents of fresh earth.
Its one room of raw pine boards
dappled with constant shade,
its steeple cloaked
in the interlacing arms
of the shepherding groves.

You approach, head bowed,
reverent to the silent woods.
The path fans around the chapel,
and you take the left,
bound deeper into the forest
where sleeps five generations
of your family in the graves
of Shady Grove.

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