Last names here are the order of the day,
chiseled in caps like GOODE. Here and there,
a spritz of color peeks from the dead stems bunched
near a headstone or at the base of a monument.
Even on temperate days, a wind feels close.
Or a shower bursts, and the sky turns ashen gray.
The drops first thump, then pound on a few parked cars
till their engines start and their tires slowly crunch
up the gravel toward the gate at the entranceway.
Or late at night, some boys out for a lark,
drunk with boredom, tip what stones they dare,
the hollow thuds, absorbed by the grass and clay,
leaving behind such broken seals as GO
that cannot feel the wind or rain or air.
Mark Mansfield’s work has appeared in Bayou, Blue Mesa Review, Evansville Review, Fourteen Hills, Magma, Salt Hill, Tulane Review, Unsplendid, and elsewhere. He holds an M.A. in Writing from Johns Hopkins. Currently, he lives in upstate New York where he teaches.