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Old Graves and Mesquite: two poems by Don Thompson

Mesquite tree growing in an otherwise desolate-looking desert landscape, image from Pixabay.

mesquite tree, image from Pixabay

Old Graves

Who, where and when—

Matters of fact

Carved in low-grade marble

Assert that death’s permanent.

But even such deep letters

Wear too thin to read

In time—as if memory

Has only been penciled in.



Branches the color of burnt bone,

but flaky, with leaves

a dull and lifeless green,

dusted with ashes.

But nothing here is more alive.

Its roots, deeper than despair,

find water where there is no water.

And it’s enough.


Don Thompson has been writing about

the San Joaquin Valley for over fifty years,

including a dozen or so books and chapbooks.

A San Joaquin Almanac won the Eric Hoffer

Award for 2021 in the chapbook category.

For more info and links to publishers, visit

his website at:

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