Build me a cairn on the mound of my grave.
Let it be something I might be curious about
If I happened up on it under the evergreens,
Finding it tall and out of place, unnatural,
Full of stones attending something but so
obviously the resting place of a man’s bones.
Stack a stone for every brother and sister
Gone before me, one for every friend made,
Two for every friend lost, a stone for each
Man I’ve killed, two for every one I should
Have but still walks the earth and knows
He does so only because I chose that fate
For him. A stone for each son and daughter
I know and two for each I’d yet to meet,
And a stone for my wife, and a stone each
Of my past wives living and dead, stones
For those I’ve hurt in heart and body, one
For every answered prayer and two for each
Unanswered, a stone for every country I’ve
Walked and every sea in which I’ve waded.
Cap the uppermost with a stone for my God
And pour over the lot pebbles for every horn
Of drink and every storied poem of my lips.
Larry D. Thacker is a writer and artist from Tennessee. His poetry can be found or forthcoming in journals and magazines such as The Still Journal, The Southern Poetry Anthology: Tennessee, Mojave River Review, Broad River Review, Harpoon Review, Rappahannock Review, Full of Crow Poetry, Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, AvantAppal(Achia), Sick Lit Magazine, Black Napkin Press, and Appalachian Heritage. His stories can be found in past issues of The Still Journal, Fried Chicken and Coffee, and The Emancipator.
He is the author of Mountain Mysteries: The Mystic Traditions of Appalachia, the poetry chapbooks Voice Hunting and Memory Train, and the forthcoming full collection, Drifting in Awe. A student services higher education professional for fifteen years, he is now engaged full-time in his poetry/fiction MFA from West Virginia Wesleyan College.