Memorial Day Morning in an Iowa Cemetery
Stray scraps of gray wool weave
above ancient humus, new grass.
Purple irises in aluminum foil
guard names on ordered marble.
Breeze embraces earthworms,
lilacs, a child’s laughter shushed.
Old farmers finger dull medals,
shattered boy memories unvoiced.
A family encircles a slight stone
leaving them wordless long ago.
Minister’s wife assembles children
to place plastic wreaths on cue.
Taps from lone high school bugler
patter off grain elevator on Main.
Later, iron gates keen in rusty alto,
meadowlarks resume their matins.
2nd place, Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest, 2008