Memento Mori

The train at night
Pulls at the thin fabric
Of velveteen oxygen.
A ghostly rush in the dark,
With throbbing wheels
And a terrible screech,

When childhood hangs heavy
From the branches of a tree,
That only ever grew one apple.
Until, stunted, it rotted from the limb,
Melding with the sandy soil
Of an ancient river bed,

The memorial of a Native tribe,
Haunted by their wrapper remains.
A hallowed ground of foam cups,
Excavated by small, eager hands,
Collecting spoons and stones.
Hoarding the sacred treasures
In ragged lunch boxes,

Pressed against pages of books,
Where the words were worn thin
By flower nectar and time,
That consumed what sanctity remained,
Of those few gentle years,
Between then and the day
They put him down
And never picked him up again.

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