Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Columbus Day

by James Babbs

in 1492
Columbus sailed the ocean blue
with the Nina
the Pinta
and the Santa Maria
but now all I care about
is not having to go to work
but I still get out of bed
at my regular time
get dressed
and eat some breakfast
before driving to the cemetery
why the cemetery?
why today?
no reason
I just wanted to go somewhere
and I hadn’t been there for awhile
so I walk through the gate
and stand over my parents’ graves
looking at the headstone
both of their names carved on it
and the dates that never change
I feel the wind blow
it makes me shiver
it’s much too cold
like November decided
to come early this year
and the sound of chimes
ringing in the air
someone left them here
people leave all kinds of things
but I don’t even bring flowers
just my pocket notebook
in case I have the urge
to write something down
I guess
each of us honor the dead
in our own particular way
and next to the graveyard
the pasture’s empty
no cattle today
when I visit the cemetery
the cows gather over there
staring back at me
from the other side of the fence

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