Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PILGRIMAGE, by ELIZABETH WILCOX BEASLEY



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PILGRIMAGE, by            
First Line: A score of years had passed since they had laid
Last Line: And scarlet poppies, swaying with each breeze.)
Subject(s): Death - Children; Graves; Death - Babies; Tombs; Tombstones


A score of years had passed since they had laid
Their hard-won happiness in sacred ground;
Three days, she said, were all the baby stayed.
She came across five states to that wee mound.

Some weeds had grown inside the concrete guard;
We pulled them out; set makeshift vases there,
With fresh sweet-peas, just gathered from my yard.
She touched them gently. Then she knelt in prayer.

I could but stand in throat-tight silence, too,
And frame a swift petition of my own:
May God give childless mothers work to do,
And grant each heartache solace at His throne.

Tear-blinded, stumbling, -- when we had to go --
She turned and looked again -- again -- to where
The little cross stands firm through sun and snow.
Should she be thankful that he slumbers there?

(I thought of rows of crosses over-seas,
And scarlet poppies, swaying with each breeze.)





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