In the Deep South,
dwindling rural congregations
no longer have regular worship services,
but mourners still gather for funerals.
They come to pay their last respects,
to say goodbye to relative or friend.
After the burial,
they visit under ancients oaks,
speaking in muted voices,
whispering like the leaves above.
They hug, shake hands, pat each other,
clinging, reluctant to take their leave.
Letting go is no easy doing.
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