Monday, December 3, 2018

The Things We Buried by R.M. Engelhardt

In my father’s backyard
There is the evidence,
The remains

Scattered where a 1000 soldiers &
Old cars lay, rest and lie
Buried beneath the clay,
The dirt
The earth

Without a memory
And without a single headstone
To find their unmarked graves

For you see
It was much easier,
Much simpler
Back then
In those days
So many memories
To forget or to
Throw away
So many parts & pieces accidentally
Lost in the nostalgia
That is time.

All the soldiers now long
Forgotten and nameless
Who must have died
In some senseless and
Childish war. A battle where
The enemy remains unremembered
And unknown and there were
No survivors or victors left

Save one.

And so as I dig with my shovel and
Move the heavy stones I
Become the historian and
The aging archaeologist
With an old back and sore knees
Who no longer commands faceless souls
Into war or who gives orders in the fields
Of suburbia where the civilian cars
And trucks all mysteriously disappeared
And slowly sank
Into the mud. Where once
There was no true
Concept of a heaven, a hell
Or death

And off in the distance?

I listen but
Can hear no battle cries
No bombs exploding
But suddenly, as I come across
And old tin box I open it
And can see and hear
Maybe three or four dogs
Barking and wagging their tails
And a smiling,
Laughing child playing
Among them

A child
Who never understood why
But who buried all his dreams
Somehow knowing that one day
He would return again
Back to this place,
Back to his
Father’s backyard to
Find them all
And bring them
Back to life.

About R.M.  Engelhardt:

R.M. Engelhardt is an author, poet & writer whose work over the years has appeared in many journals & magazines such as Rusty Truck, Thunder Sandwich, Full of Crow, In Between Hangovers, Writers Resist, The Rye Whiskey Review and in many others. His new book of poetry is called Coffee Ass Blues & Other Poems published by Alien Buddha Press (2018). He is also the host of The Troy Poetry Mission, an open mic for poets located in Troy, New York.  

1 comment:

  1. beautiful, rob. I saw that child holding the tin, and the ghosts of excited dogs. lovely piece. thanks for sharing here.


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