Monday, August 2, 2010

Churchyard

Swinging over the stones
ropes untied, hanging loose
Back - and forth
Back - and forth.
Rock-a-bye-baby
on the tree tops.

I hear the young hawks
swoop through the canopy,
screeching their whistle,
eager to hunt.
When the wind blows
the cradle will rock.

I saw them last year in a line,
wings spread out on the grass;
like monks prostrate before the creator.
Rehearsal, ritual – mantling.
When the bough breaks
the cradle will fall.

Swinging over the stones,
Back - and forth -
Do the hawks pay tribute,
pledge their prey as sacrifice?
Down will come baby
cradle and all.

I can’t read the names from here,
but I know them by heart –
old names: Place, Wood, Knight,
their babies where stones are small.
I pass them often on my way
to the new grave by the cedar tree.

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