The Grave No One Tended

The day was lovely as I strolled along,
Peering at stones on the way;
And that's when I saw it, that pitiful cross
That looked splintered and faded away.

With flowers in hand to tend Father's grave,
I knew I must hurry along;
But I couldn't help but linger awhile
At that cross that just didn't belong.


The date on the front confirmed my suspicions
Of what already I knew;
A child lay beneath that horrible cross
And its faded color of blue.

What selfish parents they must have been
To bury their child all alone;
Without flowers or candles to light the night
And not even a simple headstone.


I looked even closer at that awful cross
That was nearly splintered away;
And there on the back, I read the words
That changed me forever that day.

"This cross isn't grand,
But it was carved by my hands;
So you'll know, son,
How much I care."


"It's the color of blue
To remind me of you;
And how painful it is
That I'm not there."

"That it's you who is gone
And it's me living on;
While your young life
Has come to an end."

"And I'm left alone,
Never again with a home;
And a grave
That's too painful to tend."


Tears stung my eyes as I looked all around
At the monuments that ragged cross put to shame;
And I shared with those parents their horrible loss
That brought them such terrible pain.

And all the tombstones, some even taller than me
Suddenly seemed small in a way;
Next to that little handmade cross,
Carved with such love
And the flowers that I planted that day.

Cheryl Costello-Forshey ~
Copyright 1997
Used with permission


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