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At Cove and John Cemetery
by MJ Whistler

They call you the dread biter,
the incarnation of the departed soul,
one who can vomit new life onto dry land,
a spiritual messenger, your jaw

the entrance to the underworld. You were waiting beneath the waist-
high grasses that hot December day
as I searched for my grandfather's grave.

I was searching for a man who lived a half-century before me
who'd fought for all men to be treated as human,
who was murdered by some of these.
He lies buried beneath the trees and grasses,
his fallen stone inscribed with:
Justice, Wisdom, Power, Humanity.
I found him that day in the grassy Guyanan cemetery,
with you, his guardian, his one regular visitor.

Our eyes met once,
then you slipped beneath the roots.


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