Place of Purpose

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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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