Evergreen Cemetery

After a day of driving, I’m tired.

I turn off at a small cemetery

with Evergreen scrolled

on a wrought iron arch.

It’s peaceful here 

with no dead I know

and no one weeping.

I count as many statues

of dogs as granite angels.

The lambs are for babies

including Carl Peter, two days old.

Here’s a bouquet of new jonquils

left for Alma who died so long ago

rain eroded her last name.

North on unmarked mounds

wild ginger and native violets

grow above Native bones.

Most of the headstones

in Evergreen are already turned

toward the setting sun.

At the horizon a choir of clouds

wears robes of twilight blue.

Elsewhere in South Dakota

stands a house with its porch light on,

the first star I’ll see tonight. 

  © Margaret Hasse

  Between Us, Nodin Press, 2016

That Summer Abroad, Joanne

Have we ever been so free as then? 

We’d change destinations

on a whim, Rome one day, 

hitchhiking to Brindisi the next.

The cheap berth on a ferry to Greece

meant sleeping on the deck by Italian boys.

Remember their garlicky breath?

I want to call you up right now,

buy one-way tickets to Athens

where we’ll board the boat

to the island of Skyros.

We can take turns going to the bakery

for warm bread at dawn,

wearing cotton shifts 

we slept in like virgins. 

The sun runs its hands up the hillside 

to each white house.

  © Margaret Hasse

  Between Us, Nodin Press, 2016

Poems from Between Us by Margaret Hasse