A Vandalized Churchyard


The headstones that withstood
A thousand storms and snows
Slant broken in the mud
Like fallen dominoes.
And that’s the way it goes.

Why should we make a fuss
About some shattered stone?
To be anonymous,
Unheeded and alone
Is the one truth we’ve known,

So do the dead deserve
The dignity of name?
Time throws all life a curve;
It’s just a children’s game,
From age to age the same.

Children must have play
Before they go to bed.
They run an ancient way —
Where those now ashes led —
To unname all the dead.


Miles David Moore is a member of the Board of Directors of The Word Works and administrator of its annual Washington Prize. His books are The Bears of Paris (Word Works, 1995), Buddha Isn’t Laughing (Argonne House Press, 1999), and Rollercoaster (Word Works, 2004).

First published in Measure, Volume 2 (2007)