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Off the Wharf


Royal W Rhodes

There is no visible horizon,
only sky and hinted at sea,
as this churchyard
diorama fans across our view.

The single-rail fence
keeps the departed contained
to protect us from looking
too long at death or the sun.

The fashionable pillar columns
topped by urns will weather,
while flowers, grasses, weeds
will renew themselves endlessly.

The tilting tombstones mimic
the sagging line of colored clothes,
like drunken fishermen, it was said,
who no longer walk the wharf beyond.

Royal Rhodes is a retired educator who grew up near the sea in New England, and is now
living in Ohio. His poems have appeared in journals in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.

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