Trupie Pole, this Field of Death
is called in the old Slavic tongue,
shares its grief with the ruins
of the Catholic Church,
its relics long since relocated
to the hollowed knots of oaks
that populate a crooked forest.
Stick scarecrows, their bag heads
floating phantoms, protect the border.
Even the trees grow stunted where
the ground was soaked with blood,
limbs swaying towards each other
like separated twins begging
uselessly for reunion.
Each blasted vein and half leaf
still echoes with the shriek,
the soil still leaks rust when trod,
memories of false sanguine
still glisten on overcast mornings,
and the howl of fog never dissipates,
while rumors of griffon vultures
returning from the dead
to paw for a taste of the catacombs
below are abundant as gnats.
In a wooden wagon the grandchildren
of blood huddle in desperate acts
of remembrance and procreation
ignoring the old woman with a babushka,
and somber dress fertilizing the field
with tears for the thousandth time
for the sleeping twin under her boots.