~those without graves~

~on the drive to work each day~
~I watch the soldier’s cemetery pass~
~everything seems equal there~
~stone tablets standing attention, the grass~
~trimmed by wiry brown-skinned men~
~I see a lady bend down, she kneels~
~sets a cup full of wild flowers~
~before two stones, I feel~

~a hitch in my breath to watch~

~flags always in evidence~
~the here and now of this place~
~& this day each grave is adorned~
~a tiny standard, its solemn face~
~warm day end of May~
~I roll my window down~
~senses immediately assaulted~
~by a most deep & haunting sound~

~my legs walk away from the car standing~

~the first time I witnessed his marching~
~tartan kilt his regal attire~
~pipes slung over his shoulder~
~moaning, set the morning afire~
~here was certain precision to his gait~
~distance practiced known too well~
~here walked the spirits of these soldiers~
~to ring their lives with his mournful bell~

~my heart was flushed with guilt its watching~

~his lady, with a single flower~
~came to gather up her man~
~his pipes with their mournful singing~
~she held his arm with her hand~
~I went to the stone of her choosing~
~where Ian the first was lain~
~then to the end of the piper’s walk~
~the sky shed a tear of rain~

~these eyes confused in their seeing~

~a newer stone whose name the same~
~here lies Ian the third~
~I followed the voice of the piper~
~loneliest sound ever heard~
~& there was Ian the second~
~standing aside with his wife~
~a fair compliment of mourners~
~bidding farewell to a life~

~what greed mine curiosity shown~

~the pipes trailed away in their singing~
~a reverend mumbled words to the sky~
~that Lord, they are brave in their going~
~these lads to their sweet by & by~
~a final note owned the moment~
~to soar with its spirit way up high~
~the crack of twenty-one rifles~
~exclamation mark against the sky~

~what mortal undone was I~

~Ian the second passed by me~
~his proud pipes bellowed once more~
~his wife let fall of her flower~
~on top of that last mortal door~
~& he paced from Ian to Ian~
~this man no one could save~
~whose soldier’s sin was still to be living~
~with father & son in their graves~

~& the rain hid my face from his eyes ~

~Published in the International Veterans Poetry Archives~
Inquiries: tracy@traceliteraryagency.com & wordwulf@wordwulf.com
© artwork & words conceived by & property of
Tom (WordWulf) Sterner ©


About wordwulf

wordwulf@gmail.com website: http://wordwulf.com
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