I.M. , I.M.

north Louisiana

On holy ground these woods reclaim
There now remains one standing stone,
The others fallen, name by name,
A country graveyard overgrown.

The marble, lichen-crusted, worn,
By weathering time in time displaced,
Tilts on a base by storms uptorn,
With runner, web, and tendril graced.

An angel kneels, with folded wings,
While floating cherubs hold a page
Of staves and notes for a lyre’s strings
And lines to rhyme from age to age:

Called home at only seventeen
She leaves behind her hopes and dreams,
Fond memories forever green,
To walk with God by Eden’s streams.

This stone will shadow grass and ground
Till graven words are in the grave
Where every name and date is bound
And every verse no stone can save.

David Middleton

Until his retirement in June of 2010, David Middleton served for thirty-three years as Professor of English at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana, and he is now the first Poet in Residence Emeritus at Nicholls. Middleton’s books of verse include The Burning Fields and Beyond the Chandeleurs. He has been published extensively in places such as The Anglican Theological Review, The Southern Review, The Sewanee Review, Chronicles, Louisiana Literature, The Formalist, and has served as poetry editor for The Classical Outlook, Modern Age, and Anglican Theological Review.

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