Friday, September 07, 2007

POEM: The Graveyard Vandals

Tonight, the dead are mortified.
Tonight, the dead have never seen such disregard
For peace and sacred space.
Headstones lie flat, chunky as blocks of cheese,
Grass is carved up, uprooted yellow roots showing
As frayed as pulled hair,
While down below corpses wear pinched faces,
Mouths frozen into the shape of the letter “O” –
Yellow police ribbon marks the scene of the crime
While detectives who would rather be working
Some homicide case,
Wander while wondering
“Who would do such a thing?”

Yet below – far below – the peaceful dead
Feel violated, feel stiff bodies,
Feel stiff arms and stiff legs
Splayed like some rotted swastika,
Like an opened Swiss Army knife,
Imagining chalk outlines around their bodies –
Victims in the after here,
Victims in this “victimless crime”.

Tonight, the dead shiver in bony fear
That the graveyard vandals would strike again –
So that if given a choice when asked,
The dead would just as soon remain dead,
Where dignity at least lives.

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