by Michaela Coplen


I will erect no monument, engrave no marble stone,
For mountains have been whittled down to mark forgotten dead—
the earth reclaims their [       ], the stones remember in our stead;
I will erect no monument to bury years of bone.
And I will build no edifice that, ivy-overgrown,
might urge the young to follow where their ancestors once tread—
no mystifying megalith that leaves too much unsaid—
no, I will build no edifice to last when [            ].
But I will write these lines, and through my verse confide
our story here—in strains more soft and deft
than monument or edifice:
Here we lived lost, loved, and [             ]
—when all that’s left
is this.