“Family Tree,” Ensign, July 1980, 5
Sagebrush whispers silence,
wind threshed against the stone,
your name, date of birth and death
once etched, now dwindled
This, your grave,
this hot, dry spot,
iron fence squaring off
a pocket size of earth?
In this apron of low flung hills, no epitaph?
What of tangled roots, locked in bones,
winds that wear a life away?
I know you lived because your journaled words
tell of truth, of faith, of pioneer years.
I chart a pyramid of pedigree.
You are there, young and strong enough
to stretch hundred-mile strides,
to take a wife and build a home.
You still move through the spring-plowed hills.
Your prayers sing through the valley.
In this windswept cemetery where you have no name
our spirits touch because you left a part of you
in aged journal pages.
Time will hold the last devotion.
I reach as if no time had passed.