On North beach radar's two tone hum  
curves on its tower.  
Concrete bunkers were built here  
for battles which never reached these coasts.  
Lonely gun turrets, observation towers;  
mausoleums, sacraments of war.  

Gulls keen. A killdeer senses  
danger, makes false nesting squats  
as I approach.  
It is too late for the vole: empty sockets,  
sunken sides, a hint of bone.  
Four sexton beetles attend, shiny black  
with red stigmata, readying  
the carcass for eggs.  
The body sinks effortlessly  
into its own sandy grave: fine siftings  
flung from underneath.  
One beetle emerges, flies away,  
its wing cases held together  
like hands in prayer.  

Copyright 2000, Sharon Carter 

Sharon Carter obtained her medical degree from Cambridge University and immigrated in 1979. Her poems have been published on Metro buses, in print and on the net in journals including Raven Chronicles, TAPJoE, Melic Review, and The Horse Thief’s JournalChiyo’s Corner, and Spindrift have published her visual art.