Poem "Rakowicki Cemetery"



The autumn mist hangs low above the stones

While huge leaves, bright yellow, drift loose,

Float down in leisurely fashion.

Paths stretch into infinity between tombs

Of families laid in sepulchral state.

Here a son cleans the solemn stone while

His wife places the flowers in vases.

There a daughter tidies away the leaves,

Lights even now the lanterns.

Special trams already ply their metalled way;

Through the gates into the cemetery flows

An endless crowd, so many come to honour

Their own faithful, beloved departed.


On the day itself, the paths are thronged with the living

The air thick with rhythmically recited rosaries.

Departing, they overflow the pavements, cram onto trams,

Leaving behind a sea of lights to burn all through the night:

All saintly souls remembered and now consoling us.


26 October 2020


Gerard Kilroy