As I plant fresh purple petunias on mom's grave,
traffic on U.S. 70 speeds by as fast as the years.
Distant hills fade into gray in the falling mist
but the steady wind still dries the washed headstone
until only the chiseled letters of her name hold water.
On my way home, nine vultures wheel in the sky
over something that died along the wildflower-speckled roadside.
The flowers will soon wither and die.