The first day of autumn my father’s friend
accidentally revealed an old grave in his yard.
Nameless female grave – moon and stars
Carved in white stone. Below,
A little deeper in the ground he found a few bones too,
shoulder blades, knee parts.
I looked at my father as he descended
A bucket of cream on the table under the grapes.
It was soiled with earth; I took it
And I started to take off black crumbs with my fingertips.
A little further dry stalks of corn
Trembled as the sun set behind the clouds
And a shadow hung over our garden.
The more I wiped the bucket the darker the
Garden became. The wind blew.
It suddenly occurred to me that this unknown woman
Whose bones were now stacked in a bucket doesn’t want to be
Here, among us, who carelessly eat grapes.
Put the bucket down you will soil your dress, my father said.
And truly when I looked at my dress dirt was already there
Glued on the folds at the bottom.
I shook my dress, then blew into the bucket
Before I put it back on the table.
The sun shone on the garden again. And the wind stopped.
The cats clung to my legs as if they wanted
to say that everything was over long ago anyway.
Photo Nick Victor