"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 spent decades of
a landscape and era free of charades.
From the heavens rain down
distant recollections of a chime:
nature echoes covenant
'tween ghosts and sounds sublime,
"Perpetual Care 'Til the End of Time."