by Rose Mary Boehm

They gave up the family grave. Together
with the bones disappeared belief –
not necessarily in the afterlife,
but in the importance of keeping
a supposedly sacred place packed full with our remains.

They asked me. I agreed. But now, like a criminal
lured back to the scene of his deed,
I stand where the large black gravestone used
to impose, reminding the world
of those who once mattered.
Another marker has taken its place.

Not that I really mind.
Their graves said nothing more than:
Emma and August were here
and so were Elsa and Karl.

It’s just that because they were, I am.

A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm now lives with her second husband in Lima, Peru. Only after 20 years immersed in the English language did she attempt to write in her new ‘mother’ tongue. She traveled extensively, made a career in advertising, worked as a copywriter, founded her own business(es), married her first husband and had two children, had a one-woman show of her drawings and one of her photographs in London, UK, then moved to Madrid, Spain, married again and moved to Peru. She now dedicates her life to writing. Her two novels, COMING UP FOR AIR and THE TELLING, have been published in the UK in 2010 and 2011 respectively, as well as her first collection of poetry, TANGENTS. She won a few prizes for poetry and photography, and three of her latest poems will appear in US poetry reviews in end-of year and Spring editions. Her blog: