Cemetery Work

So many kids buried here. The rise of the wind
pushes the flag, dries the sweat on his forehead.
He throws crabapples at gravestones—outfield to home.

Charlie, I found another gopher home.
He primes the shovel. They stand downwind
from the road. He cuts off its head.

He pulls the weeds away from the head
stone. An unadorned urn, an eternal home.
He raises his arms to the sky and turns to face the wind.

—Thomas J. Erickson, Milwaukee, WI