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.