Poet’s Grave

I am the sexton

I’ve a book that’s leather bound

In which it is recorded

All the lives lived in this town

When you’re born among us

I write the day and age

And when your days are over

I inscribe it on the page


Well, now it came as quite as a shock to me

To hear of his travail

As if this storyteller

Could have written a happier tale

But now among the list of

Dead sailors, thieves and fools

There is our man of letters

Just another wondering soul


They laid him down, down, down

In a poet’s grave

The City’s sentinel of a darker day

We clutched our fears to our breast

As they lay that man to rest

Our voice was buried with the best

In a poet’s grave


It was a most humble procession

For a man of lofty mind

Just a hearse with a team of black

And a single hack behind

Mr.’s Clemm and Herrting

And Judge Poe stood by the grave

Without a single blossom

To relieve the gloom of day


The preacher said the service

Then we walked home in the fog

And later I heard rumors

He’d been buried like a dog

Well, it wasn’t true, I tell you

It was done with due respect

But a poet wins his praises

Not in this life, but the next


©1997 Pamela Cardullo Ortiz