Cemetery Wall

| 09 Jan 2023 | 03:29

The freestanding wall borders the path,
separating one family’s gravesites from another.

Nature puts it to its own uses.
Openings between stones
when stuffed with cut grass, pine needles, and leaves
make soft nests for chipmunks.
Ants build fortresses,
their troops ready to stream out
when scouts report finding food.
Sparrows dip their bills into tiny puddles
that form in crevices atop the wall.
At the approach of man,
a startled garter snake slithers to the safety
its shadows provide.

For Grandfather, it serves as a cupboard.
He inverts his pipe and sticks it into an opening
where it remains –
until the craving for tobacco plagues him again.

Timothy Tocher
Suffern, NY