Riverside National Cemetery

A Poem by Richard D. Hartwell

Again I’m drawn, summoned to these monuments of pain,
Drift among the sinking mounds and weathered granite walls,
Memorials and menace, as if cementing my relationship to those
With whom I share a bond and have outlasted inconveniently.
Still softness is broken by the rain, the protests of the mallards,
My shuffling solitude, and moans of unheard memories.
The plaintive notes of Taps ricochets, reverberating in the rain,
As tears strike me randomly, overflowing the banks of my eyes,
Coursing down the channels of my cheeks, unchecked:
Lines etched on stone by thoughts of multiple yesterdays,
Lines etched on my face by thoughts of singular tomorrows.

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