The Multiplying Grave: A Poem

The trail’s arch just weeks ago
began in such firm dignity.
A proud goodbye from launching slabs
as metal, flesh, and spirits rose
toward stars we love but do not own.
Divided ruins litter
the breadth of several states,
these molecules of miracles
coming back to haunt the dream.
Bits of steel and dust from bones.
We mourn the multiplying grave.
Paint in palettes of the spring —
packed in blood, dripping
down the reaching arm.
The cloud of hope is spitting nails.
A flood of death each way we turn —
religion’s lungs still pump away
and chins are resting on the lip
of waves we can’t reverse or stop.

Were there ever really hours
when skies were clear slate blue?
When daffodils were trumpets
never missing notes?
Once again, this art of coughing
up the grief, the carry on
of flags at firm half-mast
is all we have for tattered clothes.
They whisk away the families
to give the scalded, torrid cheek
a chance to dry
knowing that it never will
in missions this impossible.
We moisten brushes with more tears
as CNN declares the Armageddon gloom
like stories told so many times
the words are almost memorized.

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