Santa Nella

a truck stop on the big highway
tinseled with fast food chains,
a gas pump, on-off ramp
who’d come here to spend a day?

the reason I know about it
it’s where i buy my gas
i go this way to the outskirts
to think of parents’ pass

i laid them out in nowhere
the nation has a place
among mostly steep brown hills
where land has little cost

the markers lay flat and nice
to ease the mower-man
who keeps the space as though a price
be paid for under ground

for days each year they fly the flag
the one that’s carried round
they gave me one with rifle shells
when they put father down

mom went several years before
she got sick and just quit
because my father fought the war
in the same hole she went

they asked me what to clothe her with
i didn’t really care
but thought someone might one day ask
i put her bible there

she liked the one in plain translation
words easier to read
the one that best befitted her
would be the one that breathes

my father didn’t read it much
but now has worlds of time
they kept the dirt out of the box
the pages must be fine

i don’t know why i’m saying this
santa nella, no big
town, but i come to pump gas
and lie out on that lawn

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