‘Neath The Weepin’ Willow Tree, 9/24/1999

She stares at the stone
     of her husband now dead seven years.
Heels sink in the soft earth; leather soles soak up moisture
     from the saturated soil.

A dry clod from the newly dug grave soon
     to be filled with her father-in-law’s oak casket
     sticks to Swedish red granite.
It covers the first letter in her late husband’s Christian name.
     She reaches out and flicks it away.

Twenty-six years of memories and an eternity
     of dreams slam against her heart
like a six-foot wave crashing upon the fine-grained sand
     of the beach back home.

Tears flood her eyes; sounds of sobs bounce
     off maples, elms, ash but not the weeping willow.
Wind whipped arms reach out and take the sounds unto itself
     as it has done so many times.

She stands between two worlds like straddling the whitewashed fence
     enclosing the country church’s cemetery.
Her husband of four years stands silently,
     behind, out of sight, nearby.

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