Though it doesn’t help much, I keep telling myself
It’s only dirt, it’s only dirt, it’s only dirt.
His casket (the color of wilted dying tulips
Six years ago my gift) snapped from its platform and
Slammed, with screeching protest, into the earth
Causing a crescendo in the weeping
Then more eerily, though inaudible
Settled in like home.
Now scratchy blades of grass grow there
And though the work of his bones and
His father’s bones cry America!
He’s not decorated with any flag or ribbon
For his was an essential occupation
But he does get irises, and garlands, and wreaths
And a pallet of memoranda that he didn’t care
Much for in life.
They are all planted about him—growing things.
And underneath his own height worth of
Pathetic, lifeless dirt. Six feet.
And all I can think of is the loneliness
Of that cold dark soil. And lament that the only
Thing planted there that matters
Does not grow.