Thursday, February 9, 2012

Flesh and Stone

image by glenn buttkus

Flesh and Stone

Enshrouded in gray-green ebony,
with the wind off the Sound
caressing the clipped grass,
shaking the sweet dew bubbles,
she rests, buried below the turf,
hearing the terrible song of jets,
the thunk of smoky diesels, several
tears rolling down shaven cheeks,
soft footsteps echoing in the nothing;
lying fallow, yet aware, like a tall tree
in a thunder storm, that the force
is stirring and lightning is imminent,

as the visitor kneels in the verdant
thatch long-nourished by maternal
marrow, clutching a wildflower bouquet,
swathed in blue-black seaman’s wool,
close-cropped hair hidden beneath
clean white canvas, his name stenciled
inside it--as if she would not recognize
him, somehow, even though they had
had their militarious way with him;

eyes hardened in hell are softened
by the reverse pieta as the boy who
had been twisted into a man, untwists,
his calloused hand reaching out
to touch stone.

A loving finger caressed the cold copper name,
the curves, length, and breadth of it;
silence and sunshine, with nothing moving
on the earth, as the raucous roar of planes,
the drone on the freeway, the hip-hop low riders,
the children on playgrounds, the mourners
nearby, all are stilled, while soft flesh
rubbed affectionately against rigid rock
making no noise.

Glenn Buttkus

February 2012

Listed as #108 over on Magpie Tales 103

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Tess Kincaid said...

Lovely this to your mother, Glenn? She recognized you, even militarized.

Glenn Buttkus said...

Thank you, yes, it was written in early
1967 the first time I visited my mother's
grave site; rewritten today of course.

Kathe W. said...

oh my gosh this is so beautiful.

Mimi Foxmorton said...

Gods....but this is lovely!

The Collage Pirate