Nancy L. Meek

AT A GRAVE IN ARLINGTON

His absence pulls her forward
as she parts the summer grass,
the cross on his headstone glowing
from sunbeams as they pass.

His precious name, finely carved
stings her heart as she nears,
her tresses blowing in the breeze,
her dress growing used to the tears.

Rolling slowly down her face,
tears leave their trail upon her cheeks,
longing to feel his calloused hands;
‘til totally distraught, she speaks,

“I miss you more than I can say,
as the days crawl by like years
‘til next we meet and kiss anew,
our spirits locked in joyous tears.”

Suddenly, her belly leaps
as if their son inside had heard,
which makes her cry all the more,
too torn to utter another word.

She rubs herself with a mother’s sigh,
knowing the reunion will have to wait
until their son is born and fully raised,
or at least ‘til he’s twenty, at any rate.

“Twenty years old”, she gasps aloud,
“… the same age his father is now,
and will always be! Oh, God, I pray
for your mercy… someway, somehow!

Let our son grow old along with me
that I might prop his own upon my knee,
and describe the grandpa he’ll never see,
who died when he was twenty, to keep us free.”