Memorial Day, 2012

 Uncounted are the graves
Undecorated on this day—
Forgotten names unknown to those
Who walk across the dust,
Brown soil recycling toward a greener Earth.
 
Moans and sighs of death,
Soldiers caught too early or too late,
Wives, widows, children far too young,
Desperate loneliness of each and all
Now scattered among brown hills,
Blessed by rain that soaks
Naked bones that once
Were flesh much like our own.
 
Forever the beloved child,
They now share our universal fate,
No fear, no hunger, no pain—
They rest at ease in death….
Why do we fear an imaginary loss
Of an imaginary separate passing self?
 
Our fleeting names to which we cling,
Very breath within our feeble lungs,
All that, too, will one day fade.
Whatever day, the date expires,
The shadow comes upon dark wind,
No word will summon, no prayer or power avoid
When time to forsake old body from its need.
 
Your bare, un-honored self will lose its color,
Shake off attachment to the warp of reality
You’ve silently spun within your mind,
Give itself to the invisible wind,
Yet still be held secure
Within larger cosmic time and space,
Arc of life and death and life
Much larger than we think.

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