Sexton’s Register #17

Sexton’s Register


The old ledger, corners frayed,

bides time until ground thaws

when steel-toed boots again kick

shiny broad shovels, scraping stones.


Passed soldiers rest decades

beneath grey shadowed granite,

brothers and lovers and children,

frozen, waiting for company.


This green spring morning welcomes

fractured hearts for their goodbyes,

folded Stars and Stripes, corners true,

as tendered gift must be enough.


Sorrow gathers, words retreat, fertile

moist earth, tossed to a son,

knocks on coffin’s door,

as distant bugle keens farewell.


Pages are turned to find a place in line.

Black ink scribes his last poem.

Worn cover closes, paper settles

To hold the boy and weep.

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