You don't know why the hell you're even bothering.
You hardly knew her,
Red's girl, lover, other half, bird, squeeze, whatever.
Still, you pause at Tara's hillside grave
With its granite marker and bronze flower vase.
You almost light up a fag
But don't –
Out of respect?
Tara was another one of those people
Who was inexplicably nice to you.
The Big Bad.
Eater of orphans,
Killer of Slayers,
And Scourge of Europe…
(Or was that Peaches?)
The vase's tipped over,
Spilling long dead flowers
Where the earth's started settling in.
It looks lonely, that grave;
Red's so busy eatin' buttered crumpets
With whatsherface Kennedy, she hasn't
Got the time for what's important.
Bloody shame, that.
You shouldn't forget the dead.
Not that Tara was all that important to you.
Silly little redneck witch-
A cracker runaway
From a cracker family,
Inbred with a one branch
But inexplicably nice to you,
The Big Bad.
She never once laughed at you-
(Not so's you could hear it, right?)
"That empty vase, nothin' in it."
She saw to it that you were included,
(Had you cared to take 'em up on it…)
"Bloody shame it is."
(She even thanked you after it was all over,
For showin' her knock-kneed family what's what.)
"Soddin' waste of time,
'S Red's job!"
You grumble as you pick up the little bronze vase,
Use the nearby sprinkler head to wash off the dried mud,
Getting soaked while you're at it,
Then filling it with water and some of the
Wild pink roses that you found
Growing rampant out behind the
Toolshed in the older section
Of the cemetery
Before leaving the whole thing
On Tara McClay's headstone
As you go down the hillside
In the desert darkness
To do the same for Joyce.