Madelyn Kreienheder: “At Peace with Death”

At Peace with Death

I didn’t wear shoes today–
Despite knowing I’d have to sidestep
Many rocks and grains of glass-
I prefer to feel the ground, even if it hurts.

At first I let my dog choose the way
Until we neared downtown,
And as suddenly as the sun started her descent
I knew our destination.

Flanked by forgotten shop buildings
On a haggard brick road,
The sun teased my eyes
Drifting below the hill

Leaving a trail of light
Through the open doors
Of the black, barbed gate
Brooding over the cemetery.

The sun welcomed me in,
So I followed with my bare feet.

I imagine that I should feel fear
As my toes caress the cool ground others sleep in,

And yet I’ve always felt comfort instead
As I walk between the beds of the dead.


Madelyn Kreienheder is a senior English major at Truman State University on track to graduate in December with honors. Following graduation, she will enroll to earn a master’s degree in education to pursue a career as a high school English teacher. In the meantime, she is News Director of Truman’s radio station, a member of Truman’s Honors English Society, and a part-time waitress.

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