CHRISTMAS 2010

                                                                                    The dead,
                        too, denying their graves, haunt
                        the places they were known in and knew,
                        field and barn, riverbank and woods.
                                                
– Wendell Berry (“2008, X.”)

Even now the headstones claim
little flats beneath nameless draws
either side of the house, rough

granite boulders set at the head
of deep holes filled for horse and dog –
where the deer lay down to shade

when I was a boy, and women healed
the spirit, burning sage, chanting
until they fell asleep. Hollow ground

to horses’ hooves where my children
played pretend, those great imaginings
that beg to fly – now walk their sons,

listening – feet wet in grass.
To come home for Christmas can be
a gift – so many voices welcoming.

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