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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 11, Number 4, December 2017

Gary LeBel
Cumming, Georgia, USA

Taol Maen (Dolmen)

In childhood
we place the largest stone
on the bottom.

In young adulthood
a smaller one
on top of it.

Then the stones
accumulate like hail,
each trying to balance
on the others.

But when parents die
the hand of confusion
knocks them down,

all except the first:
we add the next to it.

The light
that lit your eyes,
is this the lantern
you keep swinging
through permanent night?

Author's Note: The word dolmen, which may be linked linguistically with the Breton composite taol maen or “table of stone” is likely a derivative of taolvaen, a prehistoric grave marker characterized by a large, flat stone supported by two or more upright stones. In the context of this piece, the term taol maen is applied loosely and suggestively in considering both sides of death.

Editor's Note: The included photograph, taken at Lake Lanier in Georgia, is the author's.



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