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Cemetery Hill

by David Hill

From cemetery hill
I watch the earth rotate
create gravity
drag sun from sky.

Gravity tears down
a one-horse textile town.

Their generation’s pride
raised from fertile earth,
but those of us who followed
misunderstood its worth.

Discarded husk
time and weather turn brick to dust.
Weeds sprout in crackled pavement,
rusted water tower dots the sky.
From end to end, it fits my hand,
so small, so very small,
from up on cemetery hill.

Griffith packed his van
left home for greener ground,
trying to escape cemetery hill
where uselessness abounds.

Gone, the pretense of purpose,
half-life haunts my past
and future.
So many days spent.
Just what’s a man’s aim

I stretch long legged in mowed grass
earth’s rotation drags clouds past
the living earth vibrates my back,
Buddhist drone of bees
buttercups bloom perfectly
I revel in the sensory.
The ladybug knows,
funny, how I never noticed.

The mossy stone sets crooked
and the willow weeps leaves
upon the sunken place.

I cock my head, then cross my arms,
I won’t come down from cemetery hill.


Author's Note: Here in North Carolina, there was a time when textile factory closings appeared on an almost weekly basis in the local newspaper. This was particularly hard on some of the small mountain towns to my north.

Posted on 08/12/2006
Copyright © 2023 David Hill

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kyle Anne Kish on 08/12/06 at 03:16 PM

I've been through some small worn down steel and mining towns, David, and can relate to your poem. Good work.

Posted by Maria Terezia Ferencz on 08/12/06 at 04:38 PM

The tale of a town, sadly gone to weed. I love this stanza "Gone, the pretense of purpose, half-life haunts my past and future. So many days spent. Just whats a mans aim anyway? " I do not know the answer either..... Great write.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 08/12/06 at 09:39 PM

Sad story of change. I like how you speak of earth, the insects, the trees who seem to know the worth of a place better than we. Or maybe they understand their place in this life better. Hmmmm, now I will ponder..

Posted by Dave Fitzgerald on 08/17/06 at 12:44 AM

It's been happening throughout my life over here in Britain, coal mines, steel works, the lot. Where once a kid could earn a wage in a dirty job, he now needs a deggree in IT. what a way to get your hands dirty. Thank god I joined the army

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