what we all have in common

plain are the lips that catch the tears
that run from her eyes for her tongue to savor.
she tucks her boys in after all these years,
southern oak leaves now their delicate covers.

the evening before they read Berry aloud
in a swing on the porch till the dusklight subdued,
but tonight they lie shiv'ring in their cradle of ground,
any feeling of hope she solemnly eschews.

so much so that she joins them in the dust and the earth
and crawls under her blanket of southern oak leaves,
she's closing her eyes on the faces she birthed-
the keen sword of grief, quietly sheathed.

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