Cambridge Graveyard

Here lyes Buried ye Body of
Mr. Winslow Warren,
Son of James Warren, Esq. of
Plymouth & Mrs. Penelope his wife,
A young gentleman of great Hopes,
Who died March ye 9th A.D. 1747.
Etatis 15.

Now hear this, Mr. Winslow Warren
I want to talk with you.
Buried in this Cambridge grave for 220 years,
I’m sure you’ve much to say.

You were too young to see the troops
In Continental Blue
Whose tromping, worn, prophetic boots
Marched past your placid grave.

Washington took command of his army
Just across the street.
I can see the spot from here.
You must have seen the event.
I am impressed.
Were you?

My daughter is learning to walk
By grasping hold of your gravestone.
You died too young to be of use –
Even if you were a gentlemen –
Now something will come of your question
And each step of her life
She’ll think of you,

Now she claps between her tender hands
The grass that springs from out of your chest
And reenacts a sacred mass
And eats from sprigs transmuted flesh.

There are flowers elsewhere in the yard
And students pick them here and there
But none dare fall near your regard
For fear of sadness, fear of fear.

Well now, to the task at hand,
I came, my camera at my side,
To photograph the quaint grey stones
That mark these plots of land.

What angle is best
To capture my daughter?
Framed against your faded stone?
Shall I highlight the skull of death
Or have her kiss it, better yet?