Memento Mori


Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, September 2017


Monday Morning Musings (Late Afternoon Edition):


Ask the wind where time goes

(away from spring’s light)


cycling from beautiful bloom

to cold brown earth—the sight


of vultures in skeleton branches, it seems

cleaning up the dead things, and dreams


at night of when and after,

but yet I wake in laughter


and cat purrs, a sniff, a whiff

of coffee, and beautiful dawn breathing if,


and always on the breeze

is life-music, birds in the trees


the sun behind the clouds,

the moon’s setting loud

Late afternoon January Sun

January sun glowing faintly through the clouds over ramp to Walt Whitman Bridge.



with fierce humming,

another day coming


time circling again,

and again, and again


constant, traveling like light

far beyond our lives and sight.



We walk city streets in shadow and light

reflecting back the old and true

perhaps, or not—

maybe we see what we want to see,

or see not at all,



the ghosts and night creatures

walk beside us, and should we fear them,

or they us?

I learn that Mister Rogers loves graveyards

and blood is life—of course–


it ties families together

through generations, as we pack and unpack

stories and belongings

carting them across oceans,

over highways, in and out of rooms,


discarding some, embellishing others

past golden suns and silver moons

to here and now—memento mori,

we all die, forgiven, or not,

still . . .


we all carry stardust

in our blood

through time and space,

and if we can, we find the time

to stop, drink some wine,


share some kindness

and remember those who came before

and those who will come after

we’re a speck in the wind

blowing into forever.

Late afternoon January Sun

January sun glowing faintly through the clouds over ramp to Walt Whitman Bridge.


After some very loooooong days of packing, today we moved my mom into her new facility. Today was the first day I had seen the place. It’s very nice—homey—rather than institutional, and everyone was quite friendly and pleasant. Tomorrow there will be more moving and cleaning. So, it may take me a while to catch-up with posts and comments–and actually get some work done, too!

My husband and I finally saw the movie, It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, which is actually more about the journalist telling Mister Rogers’ story than it is Mister Rogers. The journalist is played by the Welsh actor, Matthew Rhys, who played Phillip in the wonderful show, The Americans.  Tom Hanks, of course, is Mister Rogers. Believe the hype. It really is a very good movie, and even my husband got a bit teary-eyed.  The movie is based on this Esquire article, Can you say. . .hero?

We also watched the new BBC version of Dracula on Netflix, which was also quite good. It puts a different spin on the story, which you may or may not appreciate, but I did really enjoy Sister Agatha.












44 thoughts on “Memento Mori

  1. I love how you work photos I see from the previous week into the fabric of your Monday posts.

    You have done a vast amount of physical and emotional work recently, Susan. Your readers (I, specifically) won’t mind if you skip some days of posting. We’ll still be here; count on it!

  2. Beautifully done, Merril. Wonderful photos, too.
    Glad you enjoyed “Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” – I loved that it wasn’t just about Mr. Rogers but more the effect he had on others.
    I finally watched Bird Box last night (Why did I wait?)
    I hope the rest of the unpacking goes well and I am super glad that your mom’s new digs are warm and welcoming.

  3. I’m really happy to hear the move went well and you feel good about your mother’s new home. Piece of mind is so important and it sounds like you may have that now. Your photos and musings were beautiful and that tree!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want that in our back yard. It’s incredible. Take care of yourself, Merril. xo

    • I had to look back to see what tree you meant. I guess the weeping willow at Laurel Hill. I think they had a few there, but that one was really splendid. Those park-like cemeteries always planted them.
      Yes, I did like the place. I hope my mom adjusts to being there. It’s too bad that it’s not spring because I know she would like to be outside on the porch attached to her room and outside on the grounds. Thank you for your good wishes, Jill. ❤

  4. I hope it turns out to be a good place for your mom, especially the level of care. I was reading ( this relates to Memento Mori) Anne Sexton the other day. I had forgotten how she did not like to remember the dead and wanted to eradicate traces.

  5. I was swept away with your first line: “Ask the wind where time goes.” I love the feeling your poem gives of cycling, going in circles, just like Life. I hope your mom is settling in and will be comfortable. Is her new home far from you? And thanks for the movie tips. I’ll have to check out the BBC Dracula 😉

  6. A move like that is always hard. Is it a new life, or one part of the whole transition that is life? Especially when you consider that it’s also part of your life. I’m glad you feel comfortable with your mother’s new home.

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