The Once Disturbed Earth


The gracefully arching branches
Of a majestic weeping willow
Mark the most painful place
I have ever known
Where a secret lays buried
Tenderly blanketed beneath
The sticks and stones and dirt
Of this once disturbed earth
Just a modest little plot
Nearly obscured by time
Amongst the countless rows
Of stately new gravestones
Crowded into the manicured grounds
This peaceful garden setting
Where marble effigies now watch over you
A deliberately pre-planned landscape
Constructed thoughtfully for the living
Designed to comfort the suffering
Of a loved one’s death
But this man-made tranquility
Is the paradox of a cemetery
Whose irony is painfully obvious to me
Because there is no real peace
To be found in this sad place
This garden of the dead
Perfumed by the sweet scent
Of roses and lilac bushes
And encroaching wildflowers
That cannot mask the anguish
Forever secreted here
In this small parcel of Earth
This disproportionate little space
That sorely belies the impact of your life
For deeply hidden beneath the surface
Lies the immense grief
Of a broken heart
A memory immortalized
With a solemn epitaph
Carved into a concrete slab
Its permanence like the scar
That is always reminding me
How your little life ended
Before it really began
A too painful memory
That must be pushed aside
Trudging onwards through life
For Death is a wickedness
That rips us apart
And waits like a temptation
For us to quit living
Overcome with grief and unknowing
And desperately struggling
To find the strength to keep going
But, I would have done things differently
If I had only known
Your life would end so tragically
The eternal burden of a decision
That meant the end of your life
Instead of mine
And left me longing for answers
That in life, I will never find
Precious child; forever loved
A treasure long ago buried
You are the deepest sorrow
I have ever known
So hush little baby
Covered in your blanket
Of perennial forget-me-nots
Beneath the amazing grace
Of the ever weeping willow
That now embraces you
In your final resting place