An interdisciplinary journal about regions, places, and cultures of the US South and their global connections

My Grandmother's Plot in the Family Cemetery

She was my grandfather's second wife. Coming late
to him, she was the same age his first wife
had been when he married her. He made
my grandmother a young widow to no one's surprise,
and she buried him close beside the one whose sons
clung to her at the funeral tighter than her own
children. But little of that story is told
by this place. The two of them lie beneath one stone,

Mother and Father in cursive carved at the foot
of the grave. My grandmother, as though by her own design
removed, is buried in the corner, outermost plot,
with no one near, her married name the only sign
she belongs. And at that, she could be Daughter or pitied
Sister, one of those who never married.

 

Published in Late Wife (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2005).

Published: 26 October 2009
© 2009 Claudia Emerson and Southern Spaces