Call the Bugler

My father died 62 years ago yesterday and now

it is time to admit his dying.  While grieving

his early death, I turn to mother, now dead

30 years and still unable to discuss it.

I stand in their cemetery.  Buried here are pets,

humans, grave resentments, mortifying secrets,

apologies never made and grand plans unrealized.

So, let’s do this right.  Call the bugler to play taps,

the piper a sorrowful tune.  Let this music travel

over these stone markers, the flowers placed here and there,

around and over my head bowed for benediction

and out into the softening light of this dying day.

Jerry Jernigan lives with his wife and dog in Charlotte, N.C. where he has spent most of his life practicing law.  His undergraduate and law degrees are from Duke University.  In addition to writing and reading poetry, he enjoys singing, traveling and visits with his two grown sons and his daughter-in-law.