He stood in front of the headstone
marking his father’s grave
under a maple tree
that shaded the parcel
reserved for his mother.
“I found that twenty
you sent me,” he whispered,
“found it in the leaves
next to the curb during my run
the day after
we moved you here.
I asked for a sign
and you thought of
dropping a twenty on me.
I knew it was yours,
all the serial numbers
matched your birth and departure date,
never mind the letters, all T, S, & K.
Money is what drove you,
but at least, this time, you answered.“
He concluded the one-sided conversation,
hoping for another sign,
but all that followed
was a long silence,
one that encompassed all the gravestones
and the rows of dead they marked.
He kneeled, got closer to the granite slab,
pressed an ear against it
as if to block the deafening quiet
that enveloped his surroundings.
Still nothing, cemetery silence,
the most disarming silence of all,
so silent, he could hear the still air breathe.