"Graveyard Blues"

Explore the depths of loss and the soul's journey in Natasha Trethewey's "Graveyard Blues". Find solace in reflection with our literary insights.

"Graveyard Blues"
Natasha Trethewey is a former U.S. Poet Laureate whose mom was murdered by her second husband. Trethewey was nineteen at the time. Here is her recount of the burial.
"It rained the whole time we were laying her down." You can read her lines literally or figuratively. The "suck of mud at our feet" might describe the "hollow sound" of broken hearts. And "the road going home was pocked with holes," might describe the turbulent path of healing from grief.
It rained the whole time we were laying her down; Rained from church to grave when we put her down. The suck of mud at our feet was a hollow sound.
When the preacher called out I held up my hand; When he called for a witness I raised my hand— Death stops the body’s work, the soul’s a journeyman.
The sun came out when I turned to walk away, Glared down on me as I turned and walked away— My back to my mother, leaving her where she lay.
The road going home was pocked with holes, That home-going road’s always full of holes; Though we slow down, time’s wheel still rolls. I wander now among names of the dead: My mother’s name, stone pillow for my head.

Story From

Natasha Trethewey Collection