Memorial Day


The bleached limestone stones are contesting
for which can get first to forgotten.
You can tell by the angle of leaning 
- the death tilt of death is the scoring -
whose letters have scattered their meaning. 
Others here are still secrets unspooling
in memorial talk of old women
spinning stories in the midst of their flowers.
Barely yet have the oak roots been nudging
at these stones, barely yet have the hours
piled on hours, to give hint of the knowing.
Soon the stories will slow, slow, like a top
at the end of a twirl, like a sentence
trailing off. Sins above, sins below,
trailing off, in a kind of repentance
playing out, knee to knee, in the digging.
In the dusk all the white heads are bobbing.
A stone stands unflowered at the end
of a family plot.  It is prodding
with a shadow-like arm to contend
for the stories of unplanted flowers,
for the flowering of unspoken stories.
Through the plot of the deepening pall
comes the fingertip tap of a root.
At the end of remembrance is falling.

Brian Gavin

If you have any thoughts on this poem,  Brian Gavin would be pleased to hear them.