Anna Elizabeth May

by Ben Pickard   Apr 30, 2018

As I passed the cemetery, I saw her crying -
A little girl unsuccessfully trying
To stem the rivers that poured from her eyes
As she wailed her sorrow and awful goodbyes.
A bonnet, she wore, and a dress of white;
An almost hypnotic, ethereal sight
To behold as she tried so hard to be brave,
While her tears poured forth, drowning the grave.
I approached her tenderly, with no little care,
I asked her comfortingly if she would bare
Her heart to me - to speak and make clear -
Who lay beneath her and why she was here.

"My darling, stop weeping - tell me your woes -
Don't let the ravens and don't let the crows
Make off with your heart and turn it soot-black
With all that you've lost and all you now lack.
Speak of your sorrow and tell me who lies
Beneath us here and tell me who flies
With the angels in heaven, guarding your soul -
Tell me who lies there in that blackened hole."

She turned and fixed her eyes on me
With an almost surreal sort of clarity;
They shimmered and pierced and with them she bored,
Into my own eyes and into my core.
I took her all in, as white as a sheet -
From her bonnet and stockings to shoe-buckled feet.
"Tell me your name - what do you say?"....

"Anna Elizabeth May."

The name was given through tears that wracked
The whole of her body and despairingly hacked
Away at my heart - what could be done -
To pull her from shadows and into the sun?

"We were close," she continued, "as close as can be,
Now one half's in prison, the other is free.
For years I have come here to this cursed place,
And imagine the rotted and worm-riddled face
That lies now beneath this treacherous soil -
How I do shudder and how I recoil
From that which was once to me so dear;
Hark! Listen close - didn't you hear
The rumbling thunder? the heavens protest
At us for disrupting this body's last rest!
Talk no further - I have told you my all;
I am just a lost and wandering fool."

Her language did strike - it was so mature -
Poetically spoken, it held an allure.
A reminder of times and places been;
Of history lived through and suffering seen.

"Come now, Anna - be gone from this place -
You have emptied your heart and grieved."
"Yes," she replied, "yes, you are right -
Now is the time I must leave."

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Years have now passed, but I still wake at night,
Tormented by that miserable day:
The girl simply vanished as my eye caught the grave:

(1890 - 1899)




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Latest Comments

  • 8 months ago

    by Anne Moore

    The name scared me... its very similar to my name... it caught me off guard...

  • 2 years ago

    by Brenda

    Ben, I have loved this poem from the first time I read this. It truly is an awesome write.

    • 2 years ago

      by Ben Pickard

      Thanks so much, Brenda. Funny thing is, I wasn't going to re-post this, but I did some editing and ended up liking it again!

  • 2 years ago

    by - Mr. Darcy

    At last Anna is at rest - away from her shackled grave.
    Lovely to read again and again.

  • 2 years ago

    by Dreamofolwin

    FANTASTIC Poem Ben... Had me totally mesmerised lol.
    Or spellbound shall I say?
    Loved the imagery and words used :)
    My favourite llines are :-

    "To stem the rivers that poured from her eyes"

    "While her tears poured forth, drowning the grave"

    • 2 years ago

      by Ben Pickard

      Thanks so much, Olwin. Love your new profile picture, by the way.

  • 2 years ago


    Ben, this is the best of the best poems you have ever penned I believe! The mix of melancholy, sadness and mystery are expertly woven together holding the reader in a trance, then an ending worthy of a best selling Novel! A winner in my book for sure!

    • 2 years ago

      by Ben Pickard

      Thanks so much for reading, Ken

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