In my month of cleaning the mountain
I learned the location of old grave stones.
Butchered animal bones littered
the dirt inside an old stone foundation
along with rusty accouterments
and leather scraps.
Misplaced nut and fruit trees struggled
to ignore the blind rag doll half-buried in pine needles.
A snake escaped through last year’s leaves
making a grating sound that curled my spine.
For all my washing the whispers of the dead
lay insulated under the soil.
A rusted and shivered muzzleloading musket
spoke of open wounds run red
but not the gravedigger or stone carver
or what dangerous cure was in cobalt blue shards.
copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney