Frank C. Modica is a cancer survivor and retired teacher who taught children with special needs for over 34 years. His work is forthcoming or has appeared in Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Frost Meadow Review, Green Ink Poetry, Sheila Na-Gig, and Raconteur Review. Frank’s first chapbook, What We Harvest, nominated for an Eric Hoffer book award, was published in the fall of 2021 by Kelsay Books. His second chapbook, Old Friends, has been published by Cyberwit Press
Hummingbirds hover over empty blossoms,
sparrows chase robins from their nests,
petals fall from tall, browning stems.
Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July,
it could have been any of those anniversaries,
instead, it’s an ordinary Saturday afternoon
when we drive to his newly mown cemetery.
We don’t do flowers, navigate by other memories,
triangulate the highest flagpole, two howitzers,
walk around tall tombstones, trek past a mariachi
band celebrating someone else’s life.
We find his low-lying marker, brush away
dewy grass clippings, rub his silent name–
still astonished by our sprawling griefs.