This is from Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters. I highly recommend reading it again and again.
It is a collection of poems - statements from all the people buried in Spoon River Cemetary. Willie Metcalf has been my hero since I first read this nearly 40 years ago.
I was Willie Metcalf.
They used to call me "Doc Meyers"
Because, they said, I looked like him.
And he was my father, according to Jack McGuire.
I lived in the livery stable,
Sleeping on the floor
Side by side with Roger Baughman's bulldog,
Or sometimes in a stall.
I could crawl between the legs of the wildest horses
Without getting kicked-we knew each other.
On spring days, I tramped through the country
To get the feeling, which I sometimes lost,
That I was not a separate being from the Earth.
I used to lose myself, as if in sleep,
By lying with eyes half-open in the woods.
Sometimes I talked with animals-even toads and snakes-
Anything that had an eye to look into.
Once I saw a stone in the sunshine
Trying to turn into jelly.
In April days in this cemetary
The dead people gathered all about me,
And grew still, like a congregation in silent prayer.
I never knew whether I was part of the Earth
With flowers growing in me, or whether I walked-
Now I know.