Ezekiel Visits His Dead — by Jericho Mariette Hockett

Ezekiel pulls up to the cemetery

in a dusty blue Buick Cadillac

leather interior

(his heart)

worn well

with travel but still


still has give

enough to take

this drive every day



Ezekiel visits his dead

wife at 3 o’clock

pulls a yellow lawn chair

from the back seat and catches

his breath

before unfolding

(his heart)

it’s part of a set

from their wedding in 1957

still sturdy

enough to hold

an old man full of memories



Ezekiel lingers, leaning

hands clasped in front of her name

on their shared gravestone marker

(his heart)


quiet prayers until

his stooped shoulders sag

in a trembling sigh that pulls him


into the chair to gaze at her

three photos in the marble embedded

her red lipstick smile still bright

enough to feel

rested there in her presence



Ezekiel shuffles to the end

of the graveyard lane

to say hello to a friend

his brown cane

(his heart)

holds him up

pulls him along

and though this walk is still hard

enough to hurt

he presses on



Ezekiel goes back to his house

a place that is loud with colors

as afternoon light dances

over photos on the walls

and his and Josie’s grandchildren

run laughing down the hall

when the family visits on Sundays

after Mass

and though he visits the cemetery

on his own he knows

these moments are more than

enough to not be lonely


whether there or in his home

(his heart)

he is not alone.

~ Jericho Mariette Hockett

Jericho Mariette Hockett is a native Kansan, social psychology researcher, teacher, poet, writer, crafter, dreamer, mother, lover, daughter, and sister. Her work and play address the quest for meaning and identity, relationships among the living (and the dead), resisting oppression, and empowering self-determination. Her research appears in various academic journals, and her poems appear in SageWoman and Touchstone.

Guest editor Dennis Etzel Jr. lives with Carrie and the boys in Topeka, Kansas where he teaches English at Washburn University. He has two chapbooks, The Sum of Two Mothers (ELJ Publications 2013) and My Graphic Novel (Kattywompus Press 2015), a poetic memoir My Secret Wars of 1984 (BlazeVOX 2015), and Fast-Food Sonnets (Coal City Review Press 2016).

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