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Stranger Comes to Town | A Poem by Donal Mahoney

Beautiful fall day
in a potter’s field
outside a small town.
A funeral is underway
but that doesn’t stop
the leaves russet and gold
a few still green
falling among the stones
without a name.

The minister reads a verse
over the grave of a man
found by deer hunters.
No idea who he is or
where he came from,
a body dumped.

Four people from
the clapboard church
with the wayward steeple
over the hill gather ’round
heads bowed, hands clasped.

An old worker with a shovel
stands like a soldier
near the shed and
waits for everyone to leave
so he can finish up.
It’s almost lunch time.

One by one cars pull away
and now it’s just us, the dirt
and a gold leaf falling on me.

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