Collected Poems 19

Sisters of Mercy

Cresson, Pa.

We went to the graveyard to find them
The nuns from grade school days
Lying beneath their crosses,
All there except one,
The delicate nun with soft hands
She whom we took music lessons from.

Alone with her now
In the convent parlor
Bending over her piano
She plays songs they had sung together
And hears herself humming, she said,
When standing out among the crosses,
Tearless, she confided,
For having to wait so long.

She looks away
But keeps on playing,
Not lifting her eyes
From off her soft white fingers
Trembling lightly
On yellowish ivory keys.
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