Repeat: Poetry

By Norman Nathan


If for a day or one more lifetime

every grave relented, and here in this cemetery of genius

all arose, ready to return

to what they did best,

a hundred conductors

would wave their batons

each demanding to lead the orchestra;

and who, among the multitude of soloists,

would sing in a chorus?


and in the neighboring cemetery

disgorging the ordinary,

would most corpses, revived,

look vainly for the gifted

to rush over and show them what they should do

while demagogues jump high on gravestones

shouting their lies as they lord it over

their more than equals?