Common Words

Lay me in a bed of common words,
The kind oftspoken, raked into piles, and burned.

Send the children door to door
With the news that I am gone.
Give the dog a bone.
Put on your Saturday clothes.
Remember me to the stars,
The one who never reached them.

Carve my name in common stone,
Then sweep the dust across the floor.

Carry out my shadow on the bottoms of your shoes.
Take it into the street, past the churches, stores, and schools.
Let it fade away with an errand or a kiss, a deed or revelation.
Then go home and use the stone to build a garden wall.

Rejoice where common flowers grow and sweet rain finds them.
The best things in life are never sown, or bought, or owned.

Before they sprout, some seeds must pass through fire.
For them to thrive, meadows die and graceful limbs must fall.
So do faces bear the scars of madness and upheaval.
Husbands and wives. Mothers, fathers, friends.

Common words and common stones, uncommon to the end.

January 13, 2006

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