Two Poems by Helen Losse
There’s “nothing new under the sun,”
and not much beneath
the silver-laced moon.
Try as I may to pen
an original image
the tattoo on the arm of
Johnny Depp is about
as far as Facebook
leads me. Despite
declarations of faith,
my imagination thirsts
in the valley beneath Death’s
shadow & further away than
Utah, where one copy of
my latest chapbook is lost
due to human error. Sure
God will lead me.
But have all the trains
driven into the sunset
(or moon glow) with
hobos in boxcars?
All the ball teams have
claimed the good animals
as mascots, leaving us poets
writing the same poem
over and over again.
in a Salisbury graveyard,
I carried—in my cup—
Coke diluted by ice.
I walked to the spot where
we planned to view the steam engine,
as she returned from Barber Junction
to the museum. While we waited,
I looked at inscriptions on stones.
Many were weathered, having been there
since prior to the Civil War. In one section
the graves of Confederate soldiers stood,
uniform and proper. There was a family plot,
where graves were separated from the others
by a wrought iron fence. I saw discarded
drink cans—perhaps evidence of a party—
on and around some of the graves.
As we were leaving, disappointed
that the special train used a different track
further away from us, we got to see a meet:
steam and diesel, passenger and freight.
A rail fan we’d talked to that morning
told us a man’s foot was buried in the cemetery,
after being cut off by a freight train.
He said, “For seven years—
before the old man died—
he hobbled about the streets of Salisbury
with one foot in the grave.” We
laughed at his story but didn’t go back
to view the foot-grave.
A quick Google search told me more:
The foot buried in Old Lutheran Cemetery
was once a part of James A. Reid.
The rest of Reid lies buried
in a different part of town.