Hard Frost

The tormented wail.
Heavy tears of agony
Fall beneath the black veil.
The dead is carried 
By horse and carriage.
A trail of sorrow follows
Behind in silent march.
The dark crow watches 
From a distant perch.
Bitter cold wears 
On the frailty of the old;
Their steps are slow,
And measured.
The hard frozen earth awaits.
As the lowering begins,
Red roses are thrown 
From frail hands
With black gloves.
Freezing winds blow;
With tears and a final stare,
Cold and ashen faces
Slowly disappear.

Souls of Potter’s Field (Hart Island NY)

Now you rest.
Eternally marked
Are the places they slept.
The hot summers
And cold winters
They endured,
But were forgotten
In death.
May roses grow 
In the places they wept;
Weathered bodies,
Weary minds,
And heavy breaths.
You are memorialized.
Oh what pain to see
Life through your eyes:
The illness and affliction;
The cries.
Nameless no more 
On that peaceful stream 
With the dawn of 
The morning sun
They rise —

You are loved; you are thought of.

Behind the Scenes Photos on Hart Island, NYC’s Mass Burial Ground

Beautiful Soul

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On a metal gurney the finality
Of suffering lies.
There is no more breath.
There is no more life—
In wide open eyes.
Oh the heaviness of her pain
On darkened days;
The wailing; the weeping,
And silent cries. 
Heaviness of sorrow 
Was plainly seen,
But society purposely 
Turned a blind eye.
Still she valiantly fought …
The uncaring and the mockers,
The image of her face
Will eternally haunt.
Left behind in her room
Is a coffer,
And inside it, a gold heart locket 
With the inscription:
“In My Heart Forever”
That was given to her by her mother.
A note was found beside it.
Who will help carry her?
This beautiful soul that graced 
The earth with her presence.
Her piercing hazel eyes,
And long hair, 
dark as Raven’s feathers.
As they look upon her,
Her adornment will be seared 
In their memories.
A fighter; a sufferer;
A carrier of heavy sorrow 
That weighed upon her —
Who among us can judge her?
In peace she will rest gently;
Perhaps she will enter the pearly gates,
Or walk the halls of Valhalla —
There is a peaceful stream
In many a dream, where the living
Have sworn to have seen her.

Her Epitaph:

“Remember me not
For forlorn and pain;
But in the morning dew,
And the rising of the sun,
Three times, lovingly
Whisper my name.”

The Final Scene

Cold winds pierce through her black veil. She stands there alone; all the other faces of sorrow have departed. She stands there and looks down upon the remnants of him, as the cold and howling winds blow against her. She has not cried. She has not shown any emotion. Her face is solemn. The winds continue to howl as her black dress and veil are pressed against her from one side from the violence of the winds. The grey skies open and cold rain is released. Still, she stands there completely still. Her eyes are fixated on him as she continues to stare. She does not morn for him, for he was the cause of her pain and suffering. She had endured the torture for over thirty years. The beatings and the abuse; the endless suffering; the wailing. All he has left her is torturous memories and a dark void. She doesn’t shed tears because his death is her life. She is numb from the many years she has endured. The sorrow in her eyes is for herself, because of all the wasted years of unhappiness and heartache. The tears of her soul are for the stillborn child she conceived in agony; the wounds and scars of her abuse visible for all to see, as she cried out in pain. He had blamed her for the loss of the child and had become even more violent and abusive, even as she lied listless in bed for months. He hit her violently time and time again, as she lie there numb and in silent tears. The pain of losing her child was a pain she could not fathom and had never felt before. Tears streamed down her face, as she prayed to the heavens day after day. Now, as he lie in a wooden box, no life in him, she is emotionless. The winds pick up in speed and the howling is louder; it is cold and the rain is coming down in torrents. She is unmoved. She removes her veil and black satin gloves and throws them onto the top of the casket, in an act of finality. She takes a rose and places it next to her heart for the child she had lost. Without looking back, she walks away as she empties herself of his memory.

Finality

Two horses stand still in deafening silence. They begin a slow walk as the carriage of the fallen is drawn. A sea of black follows behind in solemn state. Sobbing can be heard as tears fall from sorrowful eyes. Black satin gloves and silk kerchiefs wipe the tears away. The walk is not long, but the anguish of separation is fully realized in those final moments. Hands are held and comfort is given. Behind dark shades and black veils, the streaming of tears is endless. The manifestation of sorrow in it’s rawest form causes the heart to break. The red and teary eyes of the sorrowful gaze off into the distance in trance like state. In silence, their hearts cry out to the heavens in search of solace and healing.  Doves are released; their whiteness is contrasted against the blueness of the sky. A red rose is thrown and a final prayer is whispered.