A recent visit to the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery (in San Diego, California) inspired this poem. Whenever I go there I’m struck with how many thousands of lives are gone – – and what stories they never had the chance to tell.
A sea of white Vermont marble
spreads across the closely clipped grass,
spilling down to the ocean below.
On each, chiseled
Stories so numerous
even the sea could not hold them.
Here and there, splotches of red or yellow;
bright buds that quickly fade,
carefully arranged amongst an ocean of green.
A crow, black as midnight, perched
on one, a rusted tin balanced on another.
And the sea, always the sea, listening.