My granite ancestors,
a small clan, are here
gathered in reunion
not far from the wind-
braised prairie and
the perpetual smell
of timothy grass—
dusky, dusty, rolled.
The ghosts of other
autumns ripple slick
puddles in the graveled
paths between families,
between generations.
The beacons of cold
patriarchs stand
dowdy this afternoon,
a fleck of mica winks
in the bevel of Jesus,
its doggerel, faltering
verse once a comfort
to those in the fields,
in the barns and kitchens,
those who waited for
the knock of chisel
and marble, the gliding
dash in their headstone.


Image by Jim Orsini.

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