On the way to the cemetery
to pour scotch under a headstone
Paul passes a ranch
with buck tails nailed to the top rails
between seventeen posts.
His car slides slightly over
the dashed dividing line
barely perceptible on the old asphalt
as the car begins the climb
up the mountain.
The oncoming car’s horn
is friendly enough
so that when he sees the driver’s face
it is not behind a middle finger
waved in his direction.
Four mile grove cemetery
is an historical snapshot
in old stone worn at the edges
crumbled in places
and a lack of a caretaker.
As he pours two fingers of scotch
on the grass below the newest headstone
the crude voice of the earth
sings a benediction that informs Paul
it is time to move on.
copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney