Almost before they've vanished

into the changing dark,

deftly, with undertaker's hands,

we begin our work.

Revising here a feature,

altering there a fact,

transforming half the words they said,

each dubious act.

The memory grows kinder

as it moves into the past--

quarrels, dark quarrels put away,

at peace at last.

Ten years, and they turn saintly,

shining out from flowery beds--

though sometimes, deep in dreams, we hear

these pleading words:

"Children, poor lying children,

remember us--as we were.

Accept, forgive--as we forgive

the things you are."

Copyright 2010-2012 Paul Petrie