Monday, July 26, 2010

A Sunday Ramble With Melancholy Consequences

Dr. M & I explored the town of Mechanicsburg on Sunday afternoon. He was working on an Underground Railroad project for his university – taking drive-by pictures of significant sites. There was an important and compelling event that happened in Mechanicsburg in 1857, but I think I'll tell that story another day (or better yet, have Dr. M write a guest post!).

While we were driving around we stopped by Maple Grove Cemetery. It has been in use for a very long time. There were lots of graves from the 19th century, including graves of black soldiers from the civil war. I don't know the age of the marker below, but it was probably sometime in the 1800s. For reasons unknown to me, I needed its picture - the story in this stone just pulls at me.

Click on the picture if you aren't able to read the marker

Willie Died in the Morning

Willie died in the morning
Tiny loved not here
For long

I don't know when
I don't know why
But I know gone

Willie died in the morning
and his stone breaks
my heart


  1. The stones for the babies are always the ones that get me.

  2. Yeah, they get me, too. Becoming a parent in those days was a much riskier proposition!

  3. Very poignant indeed. We can only guess at the grief of Willie's mother.

  4. i kind-of love old graveyards....

  5. I love underground railroad stories. When we study spirituals in my middle school groups I read them books about it and tell them the stories behind the songs. They always feel awed by the kindness of others and awed by the hatred of others all at the same time. A great life lesson all rolled up in some pretty great songs.

    Love the tombstone...might have to add it to my lessons.

  6. Wow, what a touching statement on that stone. To know he died in the morning makes his story personal in an odd way.

    My niece died when she was just 2 mounths old. Healthy baby until she didn't wake up one morning. Its the kind of thing one never really "gets over" only learns how to move through.

  7. Oh I love this. Died in the morning. So evocative!

  8. I'm just crying and crying.......

    on a different note
    love the idea of you with your hands on your hips surveying things

  9. And your poem breaks my heart, Dana. This piece is so touching, its beauty, its deep sadness are both infinitely moving and poignant.

  10. How did I get so behind on your posts? Oh, right, Sundays are zombie days for me, generally. Well anyway, I'm catching up, and glad to see you are still honing your poetry skills on all sorts of unlikely subjects. Sad, yes. (The grave marker, not you).

  11. Such a beautiful and poignant post. Sad and moving and isn't it wonderful that he is thought about after so many years?

  12. Dear The Bug,
    Oh, it gets me too. I am going to save a copy of this picture? If you don't mind?

    Ann T.

  13. We love walking through cemetaries! There were some good ones near where we lived in Michigan with graves going back to the early 1800s. I loved to make up stories about the people buried there :)


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