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.