Thursday, June 2, 2011

On A Slab Of Stone

(Simply her name and lifespan)

Rain soaked the grass
days before the day
of grave decoration.

Sunk deep in the damp soil
her bones like a laundry rack
held garments of lace
and broadcloth

that never really dried
but absorbed the moist smells
of life sprawling underground.

Few people knew
of her short service
or female shape
masquerading as a male
soldier. She died

a boy, musket ball
festering in the left arm.
When they laid her out
for inspection, they found
her untied hair
cut shoulder length
and breasts wrapped tight
with strips of linen.

Leafless vines
shadowed the wall
with the intricate lacing
of a corset, a sign
they should bury her
in proper dress -- or

of what she rebelled
against the most --
a woman's skill. Her Fingers

were meant for more
than weaving wool or winding
flower stems around wire
for the wreathless dead.

No comments: