On a bicycle, no longer abandoned;
like a stoop worker in the field,
a brown faced boy shines with perspiration
as he pedals, in immense circles, through the humid town.
And through an iron gate; ‘Magnolia Cemetery’ the sign said.
In curving circles grey stone surrounds the trees.
Soft grasses lie on the graves and lawn.
It is the time of day when sparrows rest in patient shade
when mourners leave for luncheon or poignant memory;
when the tent is struck; when stooped men with shovels emerge;
when the paper grass is stripped away; when the coffin descends.
The boy, his bicycle again abandoned, emerges
and stands among the stooped, still perspiring.
His eyes glance widely at the men
then, already in retreat, look into the grave.