By brian francis
I always bring a knife when I visit you
To trim away the errant strands of grass
Your name on the stone inspires memories
Standing over a hole, holding your hand
Your father, oh God, he was my best friend
In a box lowered into that gaping hole
It was hard to turn and leave him there
In fact, I remember you dragging me away
At least I had you then to be my support
Though sorrow and mourning stole a year away
I pray to God for you when I kneel in this place
To honor your deep respect and strong sure faith
I ask his will be done as you once taught me to
I seek out that warming comfort we call grace
When I stood at that hole — the one we left you in
I remember in tears the sorrow that burdened me
I remember the fear and anger at unsaid words
The rudderless abandon as my soul set adrift
Realizing that I’d never have your hand again
I reached within to that strength that was your gift
Copyright © 2020 Brian Francis
By brian francis
The gravel grinds as you walk the path
following the ankle high picket fencing.
The path delineated clearly – straight.
the grass groomed to perfection,
with little warnings. to stay off.
planted beyond the picket barrier.
Reading the words and remembering
what was said about the other side
Woody said, “it didn’t say nothin’ ”
now that’s the side for you and me.
The building is cold, monolithic, quiet,
like a temple of old it is solid built.
Even soft soles echo walking the isles,
my boots seem to clamor with every step.
But no one complains their sleep is eternal.
Candles burning by a cubby like around a saint
someone’s enduring devotion on display.
I look to see if tears have stained the floor
as I stroll deeper into the temple of loss
finally finding the nook and the panel.
Staring at the name, I blur and place my hand on it.
The cold raised letters burn into my soul,
sorrow fills my being, and I mourn, I cry.
Here in this place for eternity; to wait.
Three generations and yet we mourn
when will the visits end, the nook grow dusty-
the tears stop flowing for a soul so long lost.
The walk away is somehow refreshing
carrying away “life” a gift, all the more precious.
The grass caresses my steps as I leave.
Copyright ©2020 brian francis