21st Century Emotional Palette, Part III: We Hold Our Loved Ones Close, but Our Loneliness Closer

You’ll find me in the dumpster
out behind the hospital
where the children with deformed
hearts are born—or are aborted.

A brutal wind tore the evergreen from the ground.
Creatures, huddled in holes, were deaf to the storm’s sounds.

The evergreen was dead long before the winter,
an orange-brown blight buried amidst the dark green.

Its long roots still clutch the clod of dirt it lived in;
Leaving a hollow fit for rodent colonies.

Chickadees, in other trees, ready themselves for winter,
singing as they huddle together ‘gainst the wind.

Thrilling passersby
with a sweet and clear
chick-a-dee dee dee
chick-a-dee dee dee

I am a brownéd blade of prairie
orphaned in this cracked and loveless lot:
displaced, desiccated, and dying.

‘Round about my asphalt ossuary,
the wind-caressed plains all dance communal,
welcoming, regretless, winter’s first storm.

Too stunted to bow with the high-sweeping winds,
I watch, inert, as the plains seethe and swirl,
aching with deathbed dreams of intimacy.

When the dark snows fall heavy, I will die,
but nothing, not even the starving rats,
will e’er break my undying aloneness.

When winter rolls around,
mice take up residence,
behind my basement walls.

Save one, who daily claws
inside my bedroom wall,
out towards false freedom.

scratch scratch scratch
scratch scratch scratch

Some body is needed to open a cemetery:
have a corpse, designate the burial ground, wait for more.

But it takes two graves to make a graveyard.
otherwise it’s a mere body buried.

Which raises the terrifying question:
how many unfinished graveyards are there?

Lonely bodies isolated from all in their pine box,
not even allowed the least company of the worms.

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