A Veterans’ Cemetery

These stone tablets grow row on row, symmetrically planted

concrete flowers blooming in a precisely laid field

as far as I can see and farther.

Bright and bone white petaled, each one’s a loss

like the gradual forgetting of language, a slow march to silence.

And legions will follow, so really it’s more

like dropping just a letter of a word when each one dies.

This graveyard seems a limitless landscape that will take forever to sow,

the constant gardener’s work never ending, the fruits of his labor

are mostly reaped green long before full ripening.

Each marker speaks volumes of loss for generations to come,

how with their passing no more of each soldier’s strain will follow.

What we witness here is our going blind, each loss

a particle of light lost toward total darkness,

and as we grope our way further along, war after war,

we stumble more and more and more before our final fatal fall.

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