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 that promised by 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."