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CARETAKER

(the secret of the trees)

 

Everyone was lying at attention,

Gazing expectantly toward the sky,

Mute in their patient non-existence.

 

The trespassers came and went,

Between the patterned rows,

And each monument stood erect, and proud.

 

No one wondered who had been awake,

Just that night, manicuring the lawn,

Picking up the saddened, dead flowers.

 

No one saw the eyes, void of form,

Starring into the restless heaven,

Or heard the secret of the trees.

 

If there was a movement in the grasses,

During the night, it was not a blinking

Of eyelids closed with pennies years before.

 

It was not a battle cry of those

Wounded in a battle of two armies

By the unexplained anger of the guns.

 

No child played beyond his parents voice,

Among these unfinished dreams,

And dark confessions of failures.

 

There was only the growing of the lawn,

The scaling of paint upon the benches,

The falling of branches in autumn.

 

And, as silence echoed through eternity,

Scaring all but the brave bees and birds,

As we monuments stood in solemn black robes,

 

One man whistled while he worked,

Without waking those so asleep,

As he returned the universe to order.

 

                                                                                   ~~~ by Michael Chaussee

 

 

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