I Cut the Grass
A glorious riot of spring explodes over the graves of the dead soldiers.
Dead boys who once jumped on sofas,
Hit baseballs over fences into poison ivy
Once a week I ride over spindles of grass that cover their graves:
Raphael Ricardo Ricky Roberts Robbins Rodriguez Rodrone Rondero and
on it goes–
White stones carved in alphabetical order.
My job can never be off-shored like their lives.
Abato Abattin Acosta Allen Adrane Alexander Arnold –
All in order just enough room for this red, rusted minitractor
Pulling a giant rotary blade to slice the soft green blades
They will never see again.
This fine gesture from their country
To keep the grass shorn and short over the disintegrating bodies.
Some days the alphabet expands to the horizon.
As I keep driving in circles, in swirls.
Approaching the Farallones sunset
The soldiers’ graveyard becomes my garden with furrows and rows.
I plant the seeds of new deaths marking each one with an alabaster cross.
The day will soon come when I must use a hand mower, then shears.
As more and more grave stones grow in this arboretum of sparse pines,
I must use only the slim shiny shears in between each stone.
Now it takes a full year to cut the grasses in between each death.
Changing Harm to Harmony
Bullies & Bystanders Project
MJ Pramik has published two poems, “the Well” and “Alone”, in Changing Harm to Harmony, an anthology of essays, poetry, and art about on the topic of bullying.