Walking a Cemetery Path During the Pandemic

by Nancy Smiler Levinson

here lies Ray Bradbury    here ‘our darling’ Eva Gabor
Natalie Wood is at rest in this garden spot
imagine a soft song near this rippling pool
where lies Miss Peggy Lee    ‘music was her life’

August, the anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s
death    her crypt festooned with glossy photos
daffodils and wreaths of roses white and red
draped in memory by her ‘Immortal Fan Club’

lush lawn     porcelain flowerpots
camelias    calla lilies     mixed bouquets
rows of dense manicured hedges
slender spruce and pines skyward pointed

there is no one here today, not a living soul
here a granite bench beneath a tree
this camphor tree   so majestic    wondrous  
I sit sensing its life given by a mighty force                    

breathing     sheltering     with canopy’s whispers
embracing me with long, curved arms   
branches as sturdy as its massive, braided trunk
I am a visitor    here on this breathtaking earth

Nancy Smiler Levinson is author of MOMENTS OF DAWN: A Poetic Memoir of Love & Family; Affliction & Affirmation, as well as work that has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including  Poetica, Voice of Eve, Constellations, Sleet, Third Wednesday, Burningword Literary Review, The Copperfield Review, and elsewhere. In past chapters of her life she published some thirty books for young readers. She lives and writes in Los Angeles. Sally Lelong is a visual storyteller working in a variety of media that lend themselves to use in a conceptual framework. She lives and works in New York, and routinely exhibits her work in a variety of settings from print to thematic installations to street art.

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