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102nd Weekly Poetry Contest winner: Walking With the Birds and the Bones Through Fairview Cemetery

by Miles T. Ranter

Walking With the Birds and the Bones Through Fairview Cemetery

The cardinals calling from the oaks and maples
scattered across this boneyard are my pals;
they’re never flustered by the festering dead
scattered beneath the lawn. A katydid
hidden in the leaves of a sycamore
cheers me with its chirrs. The stiffs can’t mar
my breezy mood provided that my ears
are titillated by these songsters’ airs;
nor can the mourning dove, whose voice is sadder
than sad, coo-ooo-ing beyond a brake of cedar.
But as a scimitar moon and Venus gleam
and glimmer on the stones through thickening gloom,
some bird of prey unnerves the night with cries
that likely freak the phoebes, jolt the crows,
and even shock the shrikes. Above the town,
alone and hearing such an eerie tune,
I pause and think how every day I borrow
my atoms from a cosmos that will bury
my hundred trillion cells in a cemetery
whose birds insist there’s nothing here that’s scary
while, eyeballing me, half a dozen deer
proclaim one’s thoughts should never be so dour.
From fawn to doe to buck, each barely stirs
as, one by one, the night unveils its stars.

See all the entrants to 102nd Weekly Poetry Contest