In the Cemetery

Above the fence-flowers, like a bloody thumb,
A hummingbird is throbbing . . . Some
Petals take motion now from the beaten wings
In hardly observable obscure quiverings.
And the mother stands there, but so still her clothing
Seems to have settled into stone, nothing
To animate her face now, nothing to see there,
Only the monotonous sculptings of the weather.
She stands that way for a long time while the sky
Ponders her with its great Medusa-eye;
Or in the boy’s memory she does.
And then a
Fat blacksnake, lazy with long sunning, glides
Down from its slab, and through the thick grass, and hides
Somewhere among the purpling wild verbena.
Donald Justice