Death hangs in these old villages.
It billows up from time to time,
as laundered sheets do when it’s gusting.
These gusts cluster like buses; those buses
they no longer send to quiet
hillside stops like ours; cut off
the saline drip for such terminal
cases. Kinder, really, you see.
Let them go quietly. Besides
The young have mostly upped and gone
to bigger towns; found and lost
their for-the-weekend jobs.
And back home the laundry billows
once again; sheet-shrouds
blossom up. Two last month.
Each easing snuffs out memories.
The place meanwhile, retrenched,
has lost another smile of relevance.