© Christopher Raine


Tree Upon the Hill

A mother once prayed
beside an open, solemn grave,
but no one now
remembers her name

A young man lies there still
beneath that tree upon the hill
He’s been lying there
since before you were born

Did her aging womb decay?
Like the flowers that once rained
after the old men,
sent the young men to die

The wooden cross in disarray,
the letters lost and worn away
A family legacy now feeds
the mushrooms and the mites

The tears from a loving mother
salt and water, like any other
Another droplet
bleeds its way into the sea

In this misery we all dwell
and our children, sent to hell
The crumbling martyrs
of our vanity and greed

Broken brains and clotted blood
this end; a grieving mother’s love
I swear it’s more than any
living man can take