V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




It was still dark
when I rose
in the town

where I was born
but have not lived
for fifty years

and dressed
and followed my
feet to the large

sandstone church
and the open gate
into the old cemetery

and crunched down
the white gravel lane
past the large stone

crucifix marking
the grave of the
Croatian missionary

priest who brought
German Catholics
into these hills

a hundred years
before your birth
and untimely death;

past the tombstone
carved in German
script honoring

the ancestor who died
only three years after he
and his wife and their

six Kinder arrived;
veered slightly to
the left as a hint

of gray appeared
over my head;
stopped at the third

row of tiny tombstones
and moved into
the damp grass

to find the small
granite stone third
in from the lane;

and waited for light
to find your name,
Marilyn Krapf,

daughter of Dorothy
and Clarence,
and the lettering,

carved to endure,
of the single date
that tells the story

and confirms
the mystery
of your birth

January 25,
1950, co-

with your
death, January
25, 1950,

oh my sister
I will never


© by Norbert Krapf


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