The Small Sculpture Angel

Cemeteries, oddly enough, are great places to find inspiration for some great poems. Think of Billy Collins riding his bike through a cemetery in Florida or Ted Kooser sitting on a cement bench in a cemetery in Iowa. In our poem of the week, we turn to Ken Meisel of Dearborn, Michigan for some musings about a “Small Sculpture Angel”.


The Small Sculpture Angel

       – Mt. Kelly Cemetery

The small, sculpture angel,
writhing over the resting
stone, her cement hands
clasping a bouquet of someone’s
grieving funeral flowers,
seems at first to you
to be alive – her face, so
tender and flushed chaste
with afternoon sun, her eyes
occupied with insects and moss,
her small gown, dirtied
by the season’s robust
and feminine floral platter,
and her tiny toes, emergent
like rose beetles as she
freezes here in perpetuity
as you move closer to her
to find her chronicle
and her sculptural falsity,
so imminent and so still.
And, as you roam here,
where the graves are
solemn signatures of silence,
you discover that she
is not even alive here,
and she is nothing –
compared to the mother
and her young daughter,
these grievers you witness,
so alive still, and so vast,
with their own bird hands,
like raw crows, slashing
the roots and pottage out,
where the graves,
those silent tableaus
of lost hours and echoes,
wait – for living angels –
those reliquaries, to come.

     Ken Meisel
     Dearborn, Michigan