Homecoming

by Teri Buford O'Shea

Thirty-two years
Six months
Twelve days
We waited
To say our last farewell

Family
Friends
Comrades in peace
All fallen before their time

As survivors
We gathered together
To honor
Those who once shared our vision

Nine hundred eighteen
Names engraved
On these four
Sacred stones
Laid flat on the ground

We fell to our knees
Not necessarily in prayer
(Though some did)
Made crayon rubbings
On torn sheets of paper
To capture the precious moment
Before it too slipped into memory

With vaguely familiar faces
Worn by time and grief
We reached out to one another
Reconnected
Hugged, cried and laughed
In this strange and bittersweet
Homecoming

Now
For as long as these stones
May last on earth
These fallen heroes
Will be remembered
Never to be
Forgotten

(Teri Buford O’Shea is a frequent contributor to the jonestown report. Her other poems in this edition include Deitrick and I Do Not Love You. Information about her recently-published book Jonestown Lullaby appears here. Her previous writings appear here.)

Originally posted on July 25th, 2013.

Last modified on April 10th, 2018.
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