Wednesday, March 9, 2011

perpetual care 'til the end of time

Written partially from a fascination with the slogan of an old cemetery in McLennan Co., Texas... there's just no way, in this humble writers' opinion, such great care & attention could ever be given the amount of time advertised. What is "perpetual" anyway, if not an untenable promise? So I decided to find out what kind of care might fill in for the overzealous marketeers.

* * *

"Perpetual Care 'Til the End of Time,"

says the faded-out printing

on the ramshackle sign

tombstones guarding the

grown-over paths- names chipping

slipping silently to ground

yielding to twin wraths

of time and circumstance.

Empty beer bottles

strewn about blazes of stickerweed and thistle

prickly points of cacti replace

the sign's exaggerated epistle

water pooling stale, teeming sick with larvae and disease

affairs foreboding wafting despair

to the very canopy of the trees.

Intaglio of Jesus invaded

by blue-green moss

life blooming on dead stone savior

hanging limply from crafted cross

all anonymous residents now

corpses and fertilizer for

the forests and wilds

feeding from the spent decades

a landscape and era free of charades.

From the heavens rain down

distant recollections of a chime:

nature keeping covenant

'tween ghosts and sounds sublime,

"Perpetual Care 'Til the End of Time."

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