The stuff of clouds, of fog, are my thoughts.
Each day the necessary acceptance drifts
into my consciousness like stunned moths
on a slow death spin. It is still unimaginable.

People walk swiftly past the iron gate, something
held to their ears, jabbering on about nonsense.
They’ll waken here someday stunned as well,
even this girl slipping in to borrow our quiet,
seeing nothing, not the church, not the ivy climbing

the rusting iron fence, the tilt of tombstones nearly
smooth with age. I’d trade her small whittling complaints
for everything, for anything, but I have nothing to offer.
I’m sick of how the dead need nothing, not even this
forgotten space. Her voice rises, argues, jagged

in the quiet. How I’d love to yell and disturb these stones,
this unceasing sameness. A flashing wing scatters light,
a bird snatching a moth mid-flight, settles down to eat,
indifferent to me perching beside him. Freckles
on the girl’s arms, sun warms her hair. I raise my arms

to the sun’s light, casting no shadow. Envy for the click
of her heels walking away, for the bird’s song rising,
for the drifting clouds that hold a shape, for the dead
going about their quiet business, for the ones that no longer yearn.


Susan Moorhead’s poetry has found its way into The Comstock Review, Goblin Fruit, Anderbo, Otis Nebula, as well as one chosen for Danse Macabre’s Poem du Jour. Most recently, she received an honorary mention for a poem in the Open to Interpretation’s book, Intimate Landscape.


  1. The images in this poem are very detailed.
    They kept leading me somewhere else. Different emotions popping up… Thank you!

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