What’s Left Behind


A birth, a death

Ten thousand breaths between

If dust indeed returns to dust

A common end awaits us

An earthen rest ever follows

That final breath, released


And when to silten sleep we retire

Memories are left, six feet above

Words on stone, petals of silk

Candles of unceasing flame

Tokens of remembrance

And wonder at life’s end


But if there’s more to us than dust

Some spark of soul

Some verve of heart

Perhaps our beds of soil are nothing

More than signposts to the living

“We were here”


And if second life follows the first

We needn’t settle for the earth

For mourning, for crying, for pain

What’s left behind


One has overcome the long sleep

Marked the way

He would see us travel with Him

Despite our backs, bent with burden

Would ache to see us not

Reach home


A birth, a death

A crossing


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This photo from a cemetery in Windsor, California inspired poetry in me. What does it bring to mind for you? Share with us in the comments below.