Sadness on Grabhord Rd.

by Geo. Staley

The morning after he died in the car crash
on an out of the way stretch of Grabhorn Rd.,
his friends erected a two foot high white cross
with his name and dates written in red paint
          Tim Atwaters 1990 2007 R.I.P.
They left a yearbook, several cans of beer,
flowers, notes, candles, and pictures.
Someone — his best friend? — left a skateboard.

For some time, they regularly returned,
tidied the make-shift shrine on Grabhorn Road,
added new notes, pictures, and flowers,
made sure there were a few cans of beer,
kept the memory fresh.
They knew it could’ve been them.

Now, after 9 years, perhaps their lives have intervened
college, jobs, marriages, babies, divorces
even a few more early deaths.
And the memorial site?
Overgrown with brambles and weeds.
The red letters on the white cross barely legible.
Photos, flowers, notes — long gone.
The beer cans gone, too.
The skateboard — maybe some kid is still riding it.

What do these friends remember
if they drive along Grabhorn Rd?
Has their grief — or guilt — eased enough to preclude stopping?
Or have the memories of their friend also been
overtaken by time, brambles and weeds?