I crawl under the blanket of evening and

press my ear into the soft ground –

listen for the voices that were silenced here


eyes cloaked and soul exposed – I welcome

them to pass through – feel the breath

on my cheek as their lives wash over me


reaching for the cool stones – my  fingers

trace the names and dates while I imagine

the flesh that dressed their bones


all their years that have fallen away –

some like over-ripened fruit too heavy

to cling to the branches


others as brittle leaves in fading colors

too frail to remain for another winter –

we are connected in these nighttime visits


life and death pressed together forever

in a chain of prayerful hands – where I steal

a moment’s peace from their eternity