Old Jewish Cemetery, Prague

Sarah Gane Burton

How many bodies have you consumed, 

O stone-scarred earth,

your face a mass of roots and rock, 

your bone-fed grass, a flower

to remember the dead?

For year on year they lifted your skin 

of soil to bury a little closer to the surface 

another unfortunate soul.

The rain, which purified holy bodies, 

twice-washed, board-laid, shroud-clothed,

purifies again the mortal flesh 

awaiting resurrection.

Sarah Gane Burton is a freelance writer and copyeditor living in Ooltewah, Tennessee.