Pine Mountain Cemetery III
Russell Howard

Pine trees don’t grow too big
But this one got something extra.
Sits back at the head of the flat
Near that cold branch trickle.
Guess it soaked up all the good.
Water, mineral and ash to grow so tall.

It marks today where the kin laid
What was left of Russell Howard,
Who never had a single chance
On getting anything extra
In his short and tortured life.

A stubborn Maytag grabbed his hand
Rolled up his skinny arm to choke
The screaming life from that boy
Bent on squeezing water from wet
Wash to rest his mother’s back.

Twelve years old he was but three
Is more like what he in true knew.
His clan perhaps willed that pine to
Share strength, wisdom and age
With this child given less than little.
Amonst his kin and strangers death
Must hold more promise than ever
He knew shut away from prying eyes.