(Photo by Ariel Poster: Women tend trees with the Green Belt Movement in Kenya)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Southside Cemetery

Here is a mottled chunk of rock, set upright.

Here is one a foot tall, miraculously erect

amid the ancient stones and helter-skelter mounds

of this hallowed place.

Who is buried here?

What dark-skinned family climbed the long, lamenting hill

into the woods

protected by Jesus, for just a moment left to themselves?

How did they steal an hour or two

for this hallowed day of farewell to the dead,

finding an unmolested path safe for their black skin?

One can hardly walk today, the ground is so jumbled,

where, one upon another, the generations

were welcomed upward to the holy realms.

Some came with enough for a name in a granite slab,

a date or an epitaph.

And who placed the ragged, natural stones,

proudly standing upright over centuries?

Here are those who came enslaved

and died a servant still.

A farmer, a laborer, a maid,

beloved in the hearts of family and friends,

anonymous as these standing stones

in the unmoving world around, so hard, so cold.

Annelinde Metzner copyright November 2008

(photo by Patty Levesque)

See a video on Love Cemetery in Texas from China Galland at

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