Graduating Class

The dead passed me one night
moving single file
over a forested hillside
on a trail I thought
worn only by me.

They stopped at the spot
where I liked to look at stars
within a ring of stones
that contained no signs
a fire had ever burned there.

I noticed they wore
a variety of clothes,
many wore hospital gowns.
I guess they wore
whatever they last wore in life.

As they stood between the stones
they were asked
their destination,
in the voice of a train station agent
without a hint of judgement.

One by one they answered.
And their forms dissolved into cinders,
the types of which
I have seen emitted from
steam engine locomotives.

Once they were all departed
I mounted the knoll.
Between the crown of stones,
I found no trace of ash
nor heard any voice make inquiry.

I followed the trail back
and ducked through
the lighted doorway
into my cozy home,
where I leafed through university yearbooks.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

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