A week of leaving (part 5)


Visit local cemeteries,

respect the microscopic

distance between

hello and goodbye.

Begin with the Roman

Catholics for no reason

other than this is

the direction you come from.

Walk through the familiar

floral tributes, well tended,

organic or fashioned,

plots weeded to dust

or entrusted to the care

of evergreen ivy.

Crucifixes in every size.

Now cross the line

into the Russian Red Army,

5000 plus

peasant soldier souls,

stark rows of plaques,

close-cropped lawns.

You are not looking

for flowers here

but find them anyway,

blossoming bruises

at the feet of the statue

of the grieving mother

who remonstrates gently,

overlooking politics, religion …

dichotomy, she reminds you

is only skin deep, all bones ache

for the same guileless embrace.