Poems  From Tuscarora
Epitaph for a Mountain


I wonder what the dead think of the traffic

on the road to Tuscarora.

Do they feel blessed by the dust of the living,

the pickups pulling horse trailers,

mail trucks,  drillers’ rigs, occasional sedans?


I know the dead don’t think.

Nor did most choose to rest

so close to the county road.

It’s my pathetic fallacy.


Comforting, though, to see the cemetery

at dusk, the wrought iron fences, marble pillars,

a mother’s grave where roses bloom in June.

And then to gaze beyond.


Between the windswept valley and heaven’s vault

a pious eye beholds eternity

in the purple range.  Just don’t look at noon.


In stronger light only the dead

can avoid the bare mountain,

a monumental headstone

blasted, bulldozed, and boldly inscribed,

“Here lies our beloved gold.”

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