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I listened to the hum of cicadas winding down the summer while in the mountains with my two-year-old granddaughter last week. We had seen an empty cicada shell attached to the garage wall earlier. Cicadas have been on my mind. And I thought about them as I wrote to a prompt using a line from Charles Simic’s poem, “Graveyard on a Hill”  several years ago at a writing retreat. Here’s the line: “Among these weedy tombstones.”

Here’s the poem:

Among these weedy tombstones
Lies a dream unrealized,
A daughter who laughed and loved,
A cicada shell sans its owner,
A song without a voice,
A dance with no motion,
A poem with no sound,
A space with no time,
A time with many spaces.

Among these weedy tombstones
A small sprout grows green,
A life is redirected,
Hope drifts like a winged seedling on the breath of a breeze.
Cicadas are born every seventeen years.
Elizabeth, almost sixteen, filled in the space
Between cicadas.
Still she sings, dances, makes poetry in the spaces of my heart,
The green sprout among these weedy tombstones.

`Kay Windsor, March 7, 2004

 

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