My grandfather’s grave

Alton, IL – November 2008

A muggy warmth in November.
The river won’t freeze
and the fish still swim here:
upstate, they sleep til spring.

In Alton, ghosts crowd every corner.
Perhaps they are drawn by the sun,
imprisoned in long prism rays
alight long into December.

They burned your body to this bit of ash.
A whole human in a can. To think
all your carbon can be condensed,
70 years sifted into gritty sand.

It seems a shame to hide this treasure
unseen in the earth. Even vaporized
you are a fascination:
larger than life
despite being so little.

I am glad for the cloudless weather.
Your final touch of sunlight
here – natal mud drawing you home.

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