Black Watch



Standing on the sidelines of

the parade grounds, they are old now,

grandmothers, great-grandmothers;

women who forfeited their lovers

to the bagpipe sirens:

the tangled sheets cooled

by waving flags.


Penelope knew the secret,

the dark unraveling of the tapestry

keeping her fingers busy.

Never bury the dead.

Let them linger and take

their own time leaving.

Less anger that way. Less grief.