Place of Purpose


By M. Stone

I climb the ridge to tend the family burial plot just like you taught me, while trains rattle along the tracks below, hauling coal. I never wanted you to work in the mines, but now five states and a vast river separate us. Mama counts off the weeks till your next visit, and I pass evenings alone on the front porch watching the sky turn violet.

Truth is, I miss you something terrible, but I can’t take your money for bus fare: We both know I won’t leave the single place where the living and the dead still need me.

M. Stone’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in San Pedro River Review, Star 82 Review, UCity Review, and numerous other journals.


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