There is still one field I can love
It’s always grey—
even if there’s nothing but blue sky
mirroring the sun.
Tall granite monuments mixed in with
softer sandstone markers, rise up
from the earth, tease the living with stories
we will never fully know.
Trees are always black.
Cottonwood giants a hundred years
in the making stretch their barren fingers
into a perpetual mind’s winter,
brush aside the leaves no one ever sees drop.
Of course you know
not all the graves have markers.
Some have been forgotten, misplaced,
swallowed by this shifting earth. Each year
some are found and reclaimed.
Some never will be.
Every now and then vandals
jump the fence, break the older stones in two,
fracturing the town from the past
one name at a time.
When you stand here, among the names
it is hard to shake the clichés― this is a field
sown for a harvest which will never come;
an orchard which bears no fruit.
Common wisdom says Visit the cemetery
if you want to know the town. You don’t need
much imagination to see beyond faded names
and verses to learn its history―
All you need to do is listen.
Photo by James Jardine