Fading away

Small, sporadically mowedcemetery1
rural-church cemetery
familial in feel
generations grouped eternally
spontaneous, asymmetrical
layout seems unforced, movingly
casual in its nostalgia

a rainy, gray day along
narrow township gravel road
cars parked, haphazardly

We buried an old soldier.

local VFW could only muster
honor guard of three men
bent, trembling, purposeful fingers
wrinkled khaki, faces, hands
added dignified poignancy with
simple, nine-gun salute

small-town high school girl in bluecemetery3
letter jacket, fluffy, white ‘C’
over her heart, excused from class
hitting most of the notes
gets extra credit playing Taps

Told my story of the soldier
to a friend whose war-seasoned
big-city, grandfather – decorated sailor –
passed, not so long ago

two young men in
snappy dress blues came to
the grandfather’s internment
with a boom-box, and a CD

pushing a button, the
yeomen played Taps flawlessly,
left a folded flag with grandma
saluted crisply, left for good.

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2017
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