Monday, June 25, 2012

Caretakers of the Departed

The exalted and the unknown
both are interred here, their
remains suffering the
depredations of the soil
in the self same manner, their
graves unchanged, the scant
flowers desiccated before
the etched stone that marks them,
the lichen that grows over
a set of dates and an
unclear epitaph,

and all the invisible divisors
that stood between the dead
are dissolved, salt upon the
misty brow of the earth

and all the acclaim that some
wore upon their chests like
medals pinned and ribbons
about the neck have faded

and every person here is as
important as the next, having
the same quantity of acclaim
after years have robbed them
of their admiration.

and those living unheralded--
the lawn cutter and the
driver of the excavation
tractor--they go about their
small and noble tasks with
equal vigor for each
new tenant here

moving in their dreaming circles,
shifting the earth and
grooming the land outside
the conscious vision of
the rest, existing in the
strange demilitarized zone
between the dead and the quick,
known but only vaguely,
difficult to discern,
these caretakers of the
departed.

Patrick M. Tracy

6/22/12

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes! Once again, you've voiced my thoughts, and done it beautifully. Thanks. M

Paul Genesse said...

Pat, great poem.

After reading this one I've decided that you have to publish a book of your poetry. It must happen.

Paul

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