I watched him walking slowly across the green grass,
Moving past the rows of gray headstones side by side;
Silent, small islands of bleak reminder
The same color as the clouded sky above.
I stopped my digging, leaned on my shovel and
Watched the old man for a moment as he stopped
In front of a stone, weathered and stained
With the intractable passage of time.
His hair was white and fine and flowed with the breeze
As his pale blue eyes cast back and forth, back and forth.
He leaned heavily on a plain black cane as he made way
Across the new mown grass that smelled of summer.
Carefully, painfully he knelt down in the grass,
A little at a time as if his joints were slowly rusting.
“I don’t want to get that old,” I thought to myself
As I watched him reach silently into his worn coat.
The old man turned and laid something down across
The grass in front of the stone, then slowly stood up.
“Happy anniversary sweetheart,” I heard him whisper.
The rumpled red rose by the headstone fluttered in the breeze.