Cemetery wanderings

we walked through the unblemished coat of snow
between the rows of stone

he says to me
“I feel bad for walking on them”
and I reply
“They like the company”

the immigrants’ limestone has worn down so far
the memories are almost disintegrated

he says to me
“So much death”
and I reply
“So much life”

our footprints are not
for once
damaging holes in something perfect
but rather
they are marks telling the graves
we still brushed off the epitaphs
and read their names

I say to him
“Look, two brothers”
And he replies
“How sad Charles spent 30 years
without the other”

a testament to our wanderings
of commitment to rememberance
reminding the watchful statues of Mary
that we, too
are vigilant

he says to me “I selfishly hope
I die first
so I won’t have to live without you”
and I reply
“Me, too”

And he cracks a smile and says
“Race you”

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