Another looking back poem inspired by the Daily Inkling prompt about the importance of the dashes between the dates on gravestone.


It seems such a commonplace thing, a gravestone,

a marker in the earth where a body is planted,

the place where descendants visit,

to water and tend, hoping perhaps the dead will grow.

I have no gravestones to water,

no headstones with names and dates,

no weeping angels or whited sepulchres

bear the names of my ancestors.

When the earth yielded barely a living,

a scratched grave in it merited no monument.

Or they died in the wrong place,

where even the earth was not their own,

and masses said had more purpose than stone

markers in that wrong place, wrong earth,

beneath a sky that lit the wrong faces.

We live and die, move on, away,

not tethered to a stone or anchored with weeping wings,

we take our memories of lives lived,

the stark stops of dates at either end,

pebbles dropped in the stream of time.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

6 thoughts on “Unmarked”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s