Endings: a poem inspired by epitaphs

Today we learned about endings

How to create

a lingering sense

of full mouth and belly,

or the lasting sting of a slap,

something unvanquished, unyielding

How the shortest letter might

survive the thought that formed it,


our tombs,

and become a lasting link

Le fin est assez tragique

But Oscar Wilde only ever expected

to be mourned as an outcast

by outcasts

We try

to say goodbye sweetly

the sanctimonious

pleasure of the succinct

but we are borne back,

ceaselessly, into the past

the last line only works if

it refers to the one before it

A small story impressed in stone

The last thing left

when we are called back

A dead language

on the grave of a Russian accentologist says

‘Language is a ford through the river of time

It leads us to the dwelling of those gone before;

But he cannot arrive there

Who fears deep water’

And so the teacher says,

to the upturned faces waiting below

we must not be afraid

to choose the last word

and let it speak for us



One Reply to “Endings: a poem inspired by epitaphs”

  1. Pingback: Inspired by dead poets « Writehandedgirl

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