The waning October moon reluctantly rose,
pulling back 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, a car’s headlights beam bright.
I slowed, thinking: lovers or vandals would seek inky cover of night.
Instead, these lights illuminate a lone figure, kneeling graveside,
one hand resting heavily on a stone, head bowed in prayer.
A stark moment of solitary sorrow,
invisible grieving of the heart
focused by twin beams.
A benediction of mourning; light piercing their blackness,
as gentle fingertips trace the engraved letters of a beloved name.
An uneasy witness, I withdraw as if touched myself
and drive on into the night, struggling to see
through the thickening mist of my eyes and the road.
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