No one wept over his casket.

No one wore their Sunday best
for his springtime calling.

No one told his wife
how good they made him look.

No one shed any tears but family
and only then in seclusion.

No one sang any hymns
for his eternal salvation.

No one lofted him but hospital workers
and only then in secrecy.

No one fired their guns
to honor his military service.

No one dug his shallow bed
or mentioned phoenix desecration.

No one promised to visit or call
or bring hot meals for comfort.

No one acknowledged their own fear
about slipping away too early.

No one swallowed their faith to admit
no one ever really stops grieving.

No one wept for those left behind.


Poet Christopher Stolle’s writing has appeared most recently in Tipton Poetry Journal, Flying Island, Edify Fiction, Contour, The New Southern Fugitives, The Gambler, Gravel, The Light Ekphrastic, Sheepshead Review, and Plath Poetry Project. He works as an acquisitions and development editor for Penguin Random House, and he lives in Richmond, Indiana.

Photographer Jennifer Matthews’ poetry has been published in Nepal by Pen Himalaya and locally by the Wilderness Retreat Writers Organization, Midway Journal, The Somerville Times, Ibbetson Street Press and Boston Girl Guide. Jennifer was nominated for a poetry award by the Cambridge Arts Council for her book of Poetry Fairy Tales and Misdemeanors. Her songs have been released nationally and internationally and her photography has been used as covers for a number of Ibbetson Street Press poetry books and has been exhibited at The Middle East Restaurant, 1369 Coffeehouses, Sound Bites Restaurant in Somerville and McLean Hospital.