March 28, 2006

Ya gotta start somewhere

Ice Cream and Oakwood

One hectic, summer afternoon,
I make my way to Frosty Boy,
buy myself a chocolate malt,
then drive fast to the edge of town
where Oakwood Cemetery sprawls
on the hill near Raisin River.

I park the car on gravel lane
to roam closer to the natives:
chiseled stones--both smooth and battered,
bronze stars and flags staked in the ground
near urns of flowers, and eerie
mausoleums with padlocked gates.

Muffled cheering from Island Park
across the creek--a baseball game,
I suppose--and the "crack crack crack"
that echoes from the shooting range
located three miles down the road
vie with hidden squirrels' chatter.

At last my straw draws only air,
so I pause near granite angel
and ask her if perhaps she knows
why other occupants and I
chose our resting places to lie
upon this hill of sprawling oaks.

I watch the hardness of her jaw,
coarse curves polished by elements
and time, and it does not appear
to move at all. But then, a light
in her left eye, I think I see--
a tiny flicker in response.

1 comment:

Cherie! said...

As good a read as when I saw it the first time.