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June 2006, vol 2 no 2

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Lynn Edge

Funeral

At a funeral mass for my sister-in-law, I pick up a photo of her as a teenage beauty. Different from the woman I knew. She had sons in high school when I married her husband's brother. Ceiling lights, shining on limestone walls, give the sanctuary a golden glow. First a solo, "My Soul is Thirsty," a haunting hymn I've never heard before. The choir begins, voices resonate through church and me.

After prayers, the priest offers communion. Her husband, a protestant, stands, and lets his four sons, their wives and children pass to the altar. Then he sits alone.

chapel bells
a swirl of pigeons turning
light to dark