John Mueter

Epitaph
Arlen Morris (1881-1890)

They brought me here when I was only nine,
to watch the stars that turn in heaven’s arc.
How can that be? My life was not yet mine.

The day was bright, the water cool and fine.
I swam too far, sharp warnings did not mark.
They brought me here when I was only nine.

And down I sank, and sank in gloomy brine;
the realm of silence – joyless, cold and dark –
engulfed me though my life was not yet mine.

Above this earthy mound where I’m confined
resound the songs of sparrow, finch and lark.
They brought me here when I was only nine.

These soft chorales my lonely day define,
this piney box my fragile form constrains.
How can that be? My life was not yet mine.

While interned here, all trouble left behind,
I watch the stars that turn in heaven’s arc.
The journey ceased when I was only nine.
How can that be? My life was not yet mine.


John Mueter is a pianist, composer, educator, translator, and writer residing in Kansas City, Missouri. His short fiction has appeared in many journals, including the American Athenaeum, Lowestoft Chronicle, Halfway Down the Stairs, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Simone Press Publishing, The Literary Nest, and The Corona Book of Ghost Stories; poetry in The Bombay Literary Magazine and the Haiku Journal.

3 thoughts on “John Mueter”

  1. So sad, and he was only nine. Interned (interred) here, and he was only nine. A tiny flower plucked too soon.,
    Thelma M. Jones (9th July, 2020). FB.

    Like

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