Burying the Past

Once my heart and mind were free,
I sought more answers of “the man”.
I hastened to face his image,
But my presence there was banned.
In deep despair, I tried again,
But this time with open mind
To accept the truth of what was real,
Regardless of my find.
And then I faced a gloomy night
With shadowed figures, but nothing dread.
I felt a feeling of being lost,
Of being alone among the dead.
I sought to see beyond the dark,
Feeling more scared than brave.
A few more steps were close enough
To reveal a line of graves.
T’was enough to shudder my soul,
Shake my knees, and strike my heart.
But not enough to ease my yearning,
And thus, another start.
At the first tomb of my journey
A lit was lit to read :
“Here Lies The Soul Of One
As Result Of His Deed,
Has Been Marked As Children
Toward Punishment Were Cast,
And Saved By Vain Promises
That I t Would Be The Last.”
To think back to that time
Was impossible for me,
So I sought on the more,
What else is there to see?
Upon the stone of the second grave,
Not five feet from the first,
Another message, bold and clear,
“Here Lies He That Cursed!
Here Lies His Deception,
Not Only Of Friends, But Mother.
Here Lies His Bitter Treatment
And Attitude Toward His Brother.”
Now the memory lurked,
What sorrow and pain I felt.
I realized that, in these graves
Is buried what I’ve dealt.
I felt that, in the third
Was buried all my thieving.
I simply stepped past then,
For this was not worth grieving.
Guessing at the fourth,
I sensed a heart I destroyed,
Carry on in spite of
The wrong method I employed.
Rushing to number five,
All I had to read
Was : “The Same As The First,
More Punishment Received.”
As I sprang to number six
My soul was aburst!
To find carved in the stone
And the seventh just rehashed
What the third must have told.
“This Young Man’s Against The Law,
Though Punished He Still Stole!”
As the memories passed me by
In this yard of graves I chart,
I sensed in number eight
A weaker, helpless heart.
Now the need for numbered graves
Has vanished I have found.
I’ve been slave to all of these,
And just the more, so bound.
I stood amidst the dank, dark night
After running to catch my breath,
And looked in shocked denial
At another plotted death.
But there was a stirring
And scraping of sound.
Dirt was flung up
To the level of ground.
I stepped eagerly closer
To see deeper inside the hole,
A light showed a man bent
And digging like a mole.
I watched a few seconds
Till he tired, and spied my frame.
Hence he staggered up
And called me my name.
The light in his face
Recalled me a time
I met a drunk beggar
Who owned not a dime.
-Whose reddened eyes called out to me
And said as plain as day,
“Look boy! Look at me!
Don’t let it end this way!”-
The man before me said “Remember!”
As if to remember now,
As he flung himself into his grave,
And was covered over somehow.
Yet, as the stone joined the newly-dug earth
I found what was his part :
“Here Lies What Will Never Be,
Due To A Change Of Heart!”

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