Famous And Dead
by John Grey


We’re off to see the gravesite of a luminary.
He’s not family so the car ride is more adventure
than dour or even funereal.
We didn’t even realize he was buried so close to home
until you read it in a newspaper article.
Actually, I’d never heard of the guy
and had to do my share of internet research
to convince myself that this was a trip worth taking.
For all his acclaim, he isn’t exactly Jim Morrison
whiling away his dead years
at the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
But you can barely hide your excitement
as we enter through the wrought iron gates.
We walk for fifteen minutes through
a stunted forest of stones and I only see
one other person mourning, an old woman
laying fresh flowers over the bones of a loved one.
Not a tourist apparently.
I do stop for a moment or two to admire
a Greek Revival style mausoleum.
And a stone angel, his marble eyes
staring blissfully toward heaven.
So at least my aesthetics are tickled a little
even if my knowledge of local history
need more vigorous prodding on your part.
Finally, we reach the tomb that we have come for.
As you stand over it, I do believe you even sigh.
I am much more circumspect.
Whatever this man may have done in life,
he is doing it no longer.
And he most certainly is not doing it here.
You snap a couple of photos
and then we leave, head to the mall.
To be honest, traipsing through graveyards
is not my favorite thing to do.
Then, while you’re in and out of stores,
I take a seat beside the fountain
and keep my eye on all the unimportant people.
A hundred years from now,
no one will even know they existed.
But they’re living now and I’m enjoying this more.






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