Have you ever had a chill run down your spine? My mom tells me this happens when someone walks over your grave. As a kid, I never really understood the dynamics of someone walking over my plot of grass when I was still alive and well. But despite the illogic, it’s still a morbid idea, though not even as eerie as Eric Anderson’s “Quiet Neighbors” (AD 48/49). Here we have a case of someone’s death following them. Maybe even following multiple people. That’s how I choose to read it.
In this short prose poem graves become puppies—following the narrator and his family around, coming in uninvited. The graves have even more power than the devil to enter the family’s home. But what I really love about this piece is that I missed it when I first read it. I had been skimming and didn’t actually absorb what had been going on. By the time it was over I realized that something was amiss and I needed to go back and figure out what it was. This piece has some of the essence of what I’ve been talking about all throughout these ‘hits:’ the poem builds its own world, and the reader is left to fall in.
And so, down the rabbit hole we go
—autumn, Editorial Asst.—