Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Red Plastic Heart

Alone among the lichen

Have you decorated graves?
Many cemeteries look
Almost like birthday parties,

Bright flowers and mylar balloons
Bobbing over the headstones
On a windy winter’s day.

What happened to the lichen,
To letting them grow over
And slowly digest the stones?

Well, what’s happened to the stones,
You might retort, graves going
Out of fashion here and now,

This age of urns and ashes.
The single body interred
In its own casket, its own

Rectangular resting place,
Its own plot, is getting rare.
No ritual long endures—

The centuries placing flensed
Skulls of kin under the floor,
Of leaving them on scaffolds

As alms for the birds, are gone.
The cemeteries will go,
But some lichen will go on.

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