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"Old Graves"
By Jack Blanchard

OLD GRAVES.

I'm fascinated by old graveyards.
I don't hang around them, or even go there often,
but when I do, I stay a while,
brush away the weeds and webs,
and read the names and the epitaphs.

I try to get an idea of who these people were.
and how they felt
when they were on this side of the grass,
reading the tombstones of others.

What were their problems?
Their loves?
Their sadness?
Their hopes for the future that never came?

I wonder if they are watching me as I stand here,
or have they followed the light to the storied place
we hope is there?
How long after the moment of dying
is the person conscious of what's going on around him?

Does the departed attend the funeral
to enjoy all the belated compliments?
Or is he trapped in a box below the damp earth,
aware of his aloneness,
and screaming unheard pleas
to the loved ones who are deserting him?

"Cant you see?
This is all a mistake!
I have things to do!"

This may be my problem:
I ask too damn many questions.
And then I write songs about them.

"CHAPEL HILL"

Don't leave me alone on Chapel Hill
In the silver mist, in the midnight chill.
Oh, the moon is rising, and the night is still.
Don't leave me alone
On Chapel Hill

They placed the flowers on me, on Chapel Hill.
I'm gonna be so lonely on Chapel Hill
I wanna live in the sunshine, and feel the autumn chill.
Don't leave me alone
On Chapel Hill

Can't you hear me, mama?
Can't you hear me cry?
Don't walk away, papa...
Don't say goodbye.
Don't you know I love you, and I always will?
Don't leave me alone tonight on Chapel Hill

Oh, I feel so afraid on Chapel Hill,
As the voices fade from Chapel Hill.
And now the service is over,
And everything's still.
And I'm all alone
On Chapel Hill

Can't you hear me, mama?
Can't you hear me cry?
Don't walk away, papa...
Don't say goodbye.
Don't you know I love you, and I always will?
Don't leave me alone tonight
On Chapel Hill

Copyright October 30, 2005 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.


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