V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics





In the afternoon our friends
take us high above town
to a tiny graveyard.
Here, soldiers fallen
in World War II,
German and Russian,
rest side by side
in earth's impartial peace.
Their statistics have been carved
into cloned headstonesó
five lines of abridged lives
in an unrhymed poem.
As if elevating them
might vindicate the past,
the town surrendered
this plot of hill
with its long view of freedom
where now a grand house might gloat.
Reading the names out loud,
we consider our own livesó
what we would have missed,
leaving at their age.
We pick cornflowers
at the side of the road
and add blue accents
to each name.
Then we turn to go.
From the valley below,
pulsing in shimmering air,
we can hear the town humming,
cruising our ears like bees.

© by Marianne Poloskey


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