We walked along a shaded path of peppered trees
That stood like sentinels, protectors of graves
of the dead and connections lost in the wind.
Graves neglected, headstones broken
lying askew long forgotten. The flesh has gone
the bones long brittle powdered to ash; nothing is left.
No identity bar the name on a plaque that’s all but faded.
Words of sorrow, tears filled with grief, hearts breaking,
Emotions held by the wind, tangled in the trees,
brushed by the sand, buried with the dead, only
remembered by the drifts of the wind.
No one visits these graves buried a hundred years or more?
The soul has gone? Their descendants have scattered
Or just forgotten that a link, a part of them can still be
Felt along the shaded path of their long time dead.
We turn a bend to the recent dead where monuments,
Monoliths of granite and marble confront the living.
A stark contrast to the simple headstones
Now in disrepair on the shaded path we’d just left.
Status symbols but maybe something more?
A symbol of struggle through war and adversity
A loss of place, home, family, a loss of identity, of self.
Headstones erected as symbols of survival, of continuity.
And all that’s left amongst the broken old graves and these
polished headstones is love and loss, the memories that won’t fade
and the words whispered and carried forever on the wind.