How the Dead Wait

Beneath tombs, beneath rivers
flowing underground, by deep caverns
in gloom, the dead huddle, as if

their shadow faces could ignite
in a mass of limbs. They are waiting
for spring to arrive in a sweep of light.

The rich hang on to the poor, to their rags
and empty hands, but itís hard to tell
whose clothing has been spared by shards

of rock and thorn. They all have long
necks, like flightless birds. They shuffle
along ragged ground, bending to gather

apples or seed. Some scoop handfuls
of pebbles, or gravel rushed finer than sand.
They swallow silently, or rather with a sound

like wind whispering through an old barn
where owls swoop from rafters hunting mice
along warped floorboards and splintery walls.

Steve Klepetar

If you have any comments on this poem, Steve Klepetar would be pleased to hear from you.