NR Digital

Poetry

by Lawrence Dugan

THE LAST KEENERS IN SCHUYLKILL
(A Neighborhood in Philadelphia)

She remembered that the Tobins were the last
To have wailing mourners at a wake
Women who cried in disbelief that a soul had fled.

Who they were she didn’t know, or how
They were hired or if they were volunteer
And she was not sure who had died

Only that the Tobins lived on Naudain Street
And came from Donegal. She was a school girl
Then, back in the ’60s, and told me this

In Kelly’s, of how having heard them
Before that night, she never did again.
Kelly’s is closed, and if I bring those

Keeners up again in five years, will she
Still remember them, or will they be gone
With Kelly, and the last of the Tobins?