Old St. Adalbert Cemetery

               developed in the late 1870s

Even death dies here at old St. Adalbert’s. 
Rain and frost have wiped away the names 
and dates from limestone grave markers 
as ants and grasshoppers scratch their own 
obituaries where once human ones stood.

Grave renters lost their squatter’s rights 
after a year if someone bought the plot 
and simply pushed the renter down 
with no record of who he or she was.

Lovers must bundle two feet and centuries 
apart. Girls who once swung their corn silk 
hair and flashed quicksilver eyes can flirt now 
only when rain dissolves their muddy bed curtains.

Wealthy souls bragged they could journey 
into eternity above ground in Pullman-like 
berths but today moths tend their satin sheets 
and doors have not squeaked in a century.

The brown leaves of autumn flutter and 
fall and are mistaken for sparrows 
by the St. Adalbert dead hoping 
God’s eye has not forgotten them.