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October 2013, vol 9, no 3

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Christine Thompson

Oakland Cemetery

I enter through a Ramble stone-styled archway. There, in front of me, is a brick path the color of burnt umber sprinkled with black mold, leading to two monuments that read: Father and Mother. Nearby, a redbird calls his mate. Silence echoes back. Oak trees with naked branches point to heaven. Gnarly trunk-bumps show age. Brown leaves dance circles around my ankles. The willow's branches with thin bark that reveals disease point to hell. Twigs snap underfoot. Beside the Mother monument is a freshly tilled dirt mound that forms a rectangle. Worms below awake hungry. An evergreen wreath, John Deere cap, Veteran's flag, solar light and hand written notes cover the rectangle like a patchwork quilt. In the distance clouds bloated with snow engulf the daylight. Suddenly, specks of sunrays push their way through. The wind sings a hymn through conifer branches, while tears moisten rose thorns.

Crow beware –
Spring's lilacs tarry
your death caw.