At my mother's headstone is my father, wiping away with his handkerchief something like a black mark on the rock. The hell of it is, he's dead, too. I am standing at the foot of where she's lying, wondering where she is, that is, outside of religion's usual ponderments – all to say that I have the right spirit and an open mind. In the beginning was the word – right there on the tablet it is. And she was a writer – that's good, too. I want to see her again, want to see the flowers on that apple, in the spring, when God breaks through all the icicles that almost cage us, like flightless birds. I'd like to see some grass upon the grave next summer, and I'd like to come back then to pay my respects to the Designer of all the great everything and nothing that brings me here and sends me away and keeps me one last time and loses me.
Gale Acuff has had poetry published in Ascent, Reed, Poet Lore, Chiron Review, Cardiff Review, Poem, Adirondack Review, Florida Review, Slant, Nebo, Arkansas Review, South Dakota Review, Roanoke Review, and many other journals in eleven countries. He is the author of three books of poetry: Buffalo Nickel, The Weight of the World, and The Story of My Lives.