Tuesday, May 31, 2011


An anonymous woman sips water on the top row of bleachers
In a patch of sunlight that seems to burn through her
She is here to remember a husband/brother/father
Taken in the line of duty, protecting Texas highways
The rest of us stand under the leafy coolness of oak trees
Still silent of birds whose retreat was somehow more disturbing than the
Armed salute that startled them
They have not yet been charmed back by bagpipes

Amazing Grace floats to me over the heads of other anonymous people
On the soft undulating breeze of a
Picture perfect May afternoon
That wants to deny the finality we’re all here to observe
That wants to carry away the memory of certain death
And keep us strangers to our own ends

Like these men, steel and bravado
No match for the insignificant death of an
Inattentive driver speeding by a traffic stop
An acquaintance turns to offer a somber smile
I think I return it through the shade
And walk away feeling nameless

Summer 2008

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