Leaving Unlike Their Arrival
Leaving unlike their arrival red eyed
Mourners, Kleenex ready, observe the
Keepers of grassed graven grounds. These
Standoffish keepers of the soil quietly wait
Their turn to complete the act of final rest:
Filling, then properly hilling the quarried
Cavity with soil sufficient for it to become
Level and smooth when relaxed by weather.
Keen of sight, makers of mounds watch
Accordion vehicle processions elastically
Slowing then quickening in response to traffic .
The cortège is led by long somber transporters
Which winds the line past prior digs noted by
Hammer and chisel on hardened block granite .
Processionals are precision timed to arrive just
Post flower wagon where it's artistic contents are
Unloaded to cover with color freshly piled ground .
What are the stories resters here could tell ?
Would tales wick below the ground as does
Supple roots seeking out life's sustenance ?
Will sight and smell of petals mingle among
The sculptured stones and awaken the interned
To a time when their leather boot nails scuffed
Depressions in step stones of doorways old ?
Do stair railings smoothed sheen by their hands, Roughened through toil for their daily needs,
Remain today for those of us still living to use ?
Whose homes were these that are yet lived in
Where easy access was repeatedly earned ?
Does the saltiness of tears, the dirge of hymns,
Blush of breeze, ruffle of feathers, in song or shriek
Gather within us when we finally face the Earth
And seek it's permission to enter ourselves therein ?
Soil keepers tend the entombed but do they listen
To their flocks' grave tales always being whispered ?
Subject to chance and challenge, their duty done,
Mourners depart the scene at times unscheduled .
Ronald C . Downie