Not Mine to Remember • R.T. Castleberry

Beneath a low, country moon
the dying say their rosaries
in the shade of the Cathedral Constantine.
Their fingers slip the wooden beads like whispers.
I move between them,
steps echoed in marble, slate, cobblestone.
I don't know their fears-
when they came, why they lasted,
why they fall silent in the seconds
clouds conceal the streets.
Not a native son,
I'm the wrong listener.
I'm unmoved by each season here-
by intricacies of ceremony,
the strictures of public celebration.
Newspapers fill columns
with casino totals, racetrack results.
The poor are pictured as laughing crowds
in the Summer Garden cinema.
Market stalls are full.
Sleepless, smoking again
I track the dodging line of early runners,
the gloomy stride of schoolchildren.
Burdened by misdirection
and the mistakes of my arrival,
I miss what water misses.