Even in death they come broken,
how she finds them, shards of themselves.
Even those still standing, keeping watch,
know the pull of earth, its grave
common to all, the final respite.
Mother and child. Wife and husband.
Son. Daughter. All Beloved
returning now to Nature,
having survived the Living
gone to other fields.
The pines remain, the oaks
spreading their canopy, a shade for shades
and for, today, the great-great-great
granddaughter who steps lightly
and kneels to part the grass and vines
and wildflowers to decipher the names,
running her fingers across the letters,
a braille recognition, this host of spirits
gathered in grateful welcome . . .