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.