Sunday, October 17, 2010


In the cemetery
a mile away
from where we used to live
my aunts and mother,
my father and uncles lie
in two long rows almost the way
they used to sit around
the long planked table
at family dinners.
And walking besides
the graves today, down
one straight path
and up the next,
I don't feel sad
for them, just left out a bit
as if they kept
from me the kind
of grown-up secret
they used to share
back then, something
I'm not quite yet ready
to learn.

-Linda Pastan

This poem struck me as though a child was thinking. When a child learns about death they don't think of it the same way as an adult, but also to recover for that a child is not given the same explanation as an adult would receive. A child usually thinks of death as a "trip" or a "journey" that the person who has passed is going on. That is what I see in this poem. The author speaks of their deaths as though they are in a secret place and the author feels "left out a bit" speaking of death as a mysterious secret. The secret is preventing the author from understanding the true concept of death. But, earlier in the poem the author talks of her previous life with these people as a child, so that is what I am confused about. If the adult is looking back on the childhood then why is the adult still viewing death as a child would? That's puzzling...

1 comment:

  1. Maybe because it's more comforting? I'm not totally sure. Good thoughts on this one.