The receding October moon reluctantly rose,
Withdrawing from the full globe of a few nights before.
I drive a night darkened country road, white lines sweeping past,
Aware of advancing frost in the evening haze,
Anxious to return home to fireplace light.
Nearing a familiar corner, a stop sign loomed,
To the right, a rural cemetery sits silently expectant.
Open iron gates and tenebrous headstones,
In the middle path, incongruous, car headlights beam bright.
I slowed, thinking: lovers or vandals would want inky cover of night.
Instead, these lights focus on a lone figure,
Kneeling graveside, one hand rests heavily on a stone, head bowed in prayer.
A stark moment of solitary sorrow, invisible grieving of the heart
Illuminated in twin beams.
A benediction of mourning; light pierces the blackness,
Gentle fingertips trace the engraved letters of a beloved name.
An uneasy witness, I withdraw from the touch
And drive on into the night, struggling to see through a thickening mist.