Oct 15


by John Grey

Arms, ribs, pelvises: this is what
they dug out of the mud. Don’t
disturb anything said the woman in
black shawl but they already had.
Old graveyard or massacre site…
this stuff still had to be moved.
Chop it up, boil it down,
roads are needed, shopping centers
must be built. So excavate, pave over,
hoist the scaffolding, count the money
a thousand ways. Old maps give way
to new. Old lives likewise. The cancer,
the bullet in the brain are out of
step with commerce. The woman
can weep outside the McDonalds,
wonder till the end of time
whether one of them was her son.
It starts to rain. Dirt washes away.
A human skull is rolling down the
hill. Escaping, she imagines.
At dusk, only the rattle
of bone against trash-can
shall speak for that grievous
wailing of the dead