by Alice Ficklin
I sit feet away from a baby girl
Who died about three months before I was born.
I wonder what she would have been like today.
Would we have been friends?
I sit yards away from an open tomb
Expecting its occupant’s arrival today.
Whose partner has waited nearly thirty-three years
To meet his sweetheart again.
I wonder what that reunion would be like today.
Would seeing their glorious reunion bring comfort to the broken hearts of those who lost Mom, sister, or grandma?
I scan the hundreds of faded, weathered and worn headstones
Each of them representing a person,
Each a person who was important to somebody.
I wonder if the memories of those lost begin to also fade with time.
Will I one day be forgotten?
I see flowers and trinkets
On or near many of the markers
Only the most recently erected have such tokens
I wonder about those who surrender these momentos.
Will their giving hearts ever be mended?
I realize that this sanctuary is for us; the living
Here we come to remember and to reflect.
This spot is not for them; the dead are not present.
I wonder if they ever look down on their own graves.
Would they find our gatherings and rituals strange and unnecessary?
I notice walls surrounding this memorial
A separation allowing us to leave our world behind for a moment
A holy site giving solace from problems, worries and cares
I wonder if everybody feels this peace within the walls.
Are these bricks enough of a separation for all?
I feel the stillness
As I contemplate my purpose here on this planet,
The fact that I too will one day die
Leaving this world and all my earthly possessions behind
I wonder what I’ll see as most important on that last day.
Will I be scared?
I reflect on what is truly significant
The flowers and trinkets mean nothing to the dead
But the people who visit matter
I wonder who will visit my future grave.
Will they know I loved them enough?