Final piece of granite

Subtley marbled white rock, tall rectangle mark. Here is my Dad.
Smooth curve sawn across the top, slightly bevelled edges.
The black-stained, deep gouges that spell daddy’s name and particulars shove tears and mucus out of me, unavoidable welling. Can this really be the worldly remainder? A one man Vietnam Memorial to touch? On the back, F 519-D. Your serial number amongst Andrew’s Raiders and men and women.
Bookend dates mark supreme joy for your parents and shocking sadness for us other enders.
I have to force myself to touch the sharp edges of the summary letters, then almost want to get a cut from the sharpest angles. Sharp like the memory and like the Loss. Time and weather should s l o w l y wear and bevel both stone and grief. At least I predict so. I rest my hand on the top curve, knowing that it’s connected to the earth where you aren’t. Solid and massive, like you were.

I park your silver van on the shade, just like you would have. The wind-wounded tree stills shades your marker on what could be a pleasant hillside.
Why must I be here to write – you are everywhere else that we go. Absence of distraction must allow the words.

He is not alone.
Thousands of tragic and merciful end results surround him. Each rock chunk is a story token: a life, a family, and a set of friends who mourn, grieve, smile, remember. Short lives, long, war, peace; all planted shallowly on this great, rolling hill.

Life Force roars someone else’s disaster across the park peak. Good luck to you and your family, Stranger. May your healing be quick and true.

circa 2005