History, When Settled in Your Hands, Turns Out To Be Just Heavy
There on the sharp corner of
Cory and Meeks the broken
concrete urn seems most likely
lifted from some country graveyard,
young kids joyriding all night,
probably a 12 pack. They park
in the graveyard to crack open
the beer, and then comes that dare,
but when they return to town.
No one wants to be the one caught
stashing the heavy antique urn in
a parent’s garage, tool shed, no desire
to answer that question, ‘where
did this come from?’ So it lands,
cracks in two, porous concrete
not a match for trajectory or gravity
as they speed home before
those parents wake up, wonder
where their kids are at this time.
A girl examines the wreckage, wonders
what could, should, she do while
cherubim garland the urn, sleep easy
in a pile of brittle beech leaves. Then
it snows, buries the dry leaves and
that scent, sort of musty and mossy,
of damp dirt-stained concrete.
Spring, the pedestal shattered
to dull slivers, but a chunk of
the basin, with a cherub staring
idly into a distance he’s invented,
rests between exposed tree roots.
The girl pulls over, puts her car
in park, gets out, engine running,
walks as if she owns all of this
moment, picks up that last piece,
pauses as the weight settles there
in her hands, the thought that
by now the joyriders have forgot
the corner to turn left at exactly
where the gate hangs wired open on
rusted hinges, redwing blackbirds
beautiful, graceful on fence posts.
Stolen is stolen, lost is lost,
forgotten or replaced or
maybe not even missed,
the graveyard so isolated.
Such a long time since
a grave’s been dug, no one,
when they drive by, remarks
on it–that slight glimmer
far back on the thin gravel road.