Unmarked Grave

Old man, if it'll help you rest, the shotgun
that has gone from first son to first son

did not come to me, but I do wear the epitaph
of one of your old suits. I remember we stood

in the order of our birth years, children
of the children you left, all holidays

waiting the big Buick to pull in the yard.
For those meals of ash, now you have no stone.

I remember how much you drank and cussed.
Pistol, you burned your people like a torch.

A weed stalk is the devil's walking stick,
the bastard, I know it matters to you

that none of your blood will bring a flower
and nobody but me will cut this grass.

From Alpha Zulu by Gary Lilley. Copyright © 2008 by Gary Lilley. Published by Ausable Press. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.