WHERE IS ED ABBEY’S GRAVE?
I ain’t about to die in a hospital bed.
Help me get these needles out of my arms
and get me the hell outa here;
no damn gravestone for me, either,
no name, no meaningless dates.
Drink some beer, put me in the ground
up on top of some mesa with a view
where my bones’ll never be found.
If you must look for me,
look in a slinking coyote’s eyes
or a cactus spine stuck on your boot,
the proverbial bur in your saddle.
I’ll be the grit in your eyes and nose
when the wind blows sand,
the ripples in a stream
that’s bone dry most of the year.
You might remember me with a curse
and a story,
remember when that god damn Ed…
That said, I wouldn’t care
if you sang a song of me,
as long as you only sang it once,
then let it fade into the ether
or buried it with my bones.
Just leave me the hell alone.
Author’s Comment: I find it very interesting, though not surprising, that Ed Abbey would choose an isolated mesa top as his final resting place with no marker or indication of any kind. Perhaps he knew (though I doubt if he cared) that he would live on in his words.
Bio: Larry Schug is retired from a life of various kinds of physical labor and currently volunteers as a writing tutor at the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University writing centers and as a volunteer Naturalist at Outdoor U. on the campus of St. John’s. His eighth book of poems A Blanket of Raven Feathers is currently in the hands of its publisher, North Star Press, and hopefully will be out in May 2017.