Deerfield’s Ghosts


Wandered into a cemetery

surrounded by a stone wall

hidden in the deep wood

The cold winter’s wind

calling the shadows and

whispering my name

Air weighted with sadness

as tombs of sorrow beckoned

like a house so empty

I stood alone, waiting

as voices of the lost

washed me in time’s tempest

My hands embraced each soul

as I traced those crumbling stones

placed long ago with care

Overcome with tears

as I read of Martha. loving daughter

a life lived five short years

And her mother, wife of John

who shared the same last day

in another time, another place

Night fell and mockingbirds

resumed their evening song, playing chords

that matched a funeral march

Chilled to the bone and wearied

I sank to my knees beside a family plot, crying

Tell me where hope lives

Awareness that each stone was marked

with that date, February 29, 1704,

came slowly, deliberately

Echoes of war drums rang

through the silence as fear

electrified the hallowed space

The massacre of yesterday

forgotten as time moved on

still hosts ghosts of the innocent

Every once and awhile

the lost invite someone back

to share their story

And so I did

photo: Atlas Obscura

prompts: #MadVerse, #PoeVerse, #everythingturnsgrey


  1. I googled Deerfield 1704…….yes history of all nations show up the inhumanity within leadership…..the common family suffers….I guess there will be and are many more contemporary Deerfields…


  2. I love this one so much, it really takes my breath away. It is full of sorrow, but equally as full of life. This just may be one of my all time favorite poems. Very cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your concluding verse is very telling, exactly what is happening to your speaker. What a thing it would be to talk or communicate with these people, experienced through them their lives. Often short and sad you point out in war, the daughter and her mother. I guess sometimes we forget living as long as many of us do, due to modern medicine, technology etc. Is a gift are forbearers didn’t have. Great write!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I had no idea where this was going until it was almost finished. I drove by several small cemeteries today and knew that would fit in to today’s post, but it wasn’t until I hit on the idea of a massacre that it took shape. I recently proofed a book that took place in Lexington and Concord and have been thinking about the history of places ever since. It’s a bit mind boggling if you start to think about everything that came before…

      Liked by 1 person

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