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Where My Father Is Buried


Where my father is buried

The earth becomes white from the scorching sun

Becomes light as air

It sweeps across his small gravestone


My mother’s cherished visits to this place

Her ritual of getting someone to drive her there

Of going to the five and dime store

Of diving into bins filled with plastic flowers

To excavate the very brightest rose

Lily or tulip she can possibly unearth


And when she arrives

My 83-year-old mother kneels

With old cut off T-shirt in hand

Wipes away that light white earth

Claws at the hard dirt

Makes little holes there

To plant those eternal flowers

On either side of my father’s grave






[Originally published in NHS 2008, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs08/Nancy_Mercado.htm.]