Walking Past Mt. Calvary in Summer
The old women with finger curls and clip-on earrings,
with cherries pinned to their straw hats,
the old men with work-gnarled hands
looming over headstones.
These few trees totter in no wind.
Tonight with open windows,
in the humming darkness,
we will hear them fall.
At Bonaventure Cemetery
-- after an image by Mary Judkins
At home in the world,
Spanish moss flows like sunlight
from the trees whose roots
are in fertile ground.
Sunlight hovers on the left
like the white light of myth,
movies, and musicals.
Today the ancestors walk among us,
recognizing the children in the adults,
laughing at the fashion
and gadgets we cherish.
Not at home in the world,
the mourning madonna hugs the cross,
but she is streaked with green.
Even the shadow striping her gown
is the color of soil, the red bricks
of the city beyond. Her tears
are moss, not the bitter crystal
that etches stained glass
and indoor stone.
The ancestors tiptoe around her,
but they mingle with us
in and out of sunlight,
in and out of shadow.
Marianne Szlyk is a professor at Montgomery College and the editor of The Song Is... Recently, she published her first chapbook, Listening to Electric Cambodia, Looking at Trees of Heaven, with Kind of a Hurricane Press: http://barometricpressures.blogspot.com/2014/10/listening-to-electric-cambodia-looking.html Her poems have appeared in a variety of online and print venues, including ken*again, Of/with, and bird's thumb.