The Grave No One Tended

The Grave No One Tended

From A 4th Course of Chicken Soup for the Soul

The Grave No One Tended

The day was lovely as I strolled along

peering at stones on the way,

And that’s when I saw it, that pitiful cross

that looked splintered and faded away.

With flowers in hand to tend Father’s grave,

I knew I must hurry along.

But I couldn’t help but linger awhile

at that cross that just didn’t belong.

The date on the front confirmed my suspicions

of what already I knew.

A child lay beneath that horrible cross

and its faded color of blue.

What selfish parents they must have been

to bury their child all alone,

Without flowers or candles to light the night

and not even a simple headstone.

I looked even closer at that awful cross

that was nearly splintered away,

And there on the back, I read the words

that changed me forever that day.

“This cross isn’t grand, but it was carved by my hands

so you’ll know, son, how much I care.

It’s the color of blue to remind me of you

and how painful it is I’m not there,

That it’s you who is gone and it’s me living on

while your young life has come to an end.

And I’m left alone, never again with a home

and a grave that’s too painful to tend.”

Tears stung my eyes as I looked all around

at the monuments that ragged cross put to shame.

And I shared with those parents their horrible loss

that brought them such terrible pain.

And all the tombstones, some even taller than me

suddenly seemed small in a way,

Next to that little handmade cross, carved with such love

and the flowers I planted that day.

Cheryl L. Costello -Forshey

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