Cemetery Visit

November 23, 2012

I haven’t been back to your grave.  Long shiny cars, older but well-kept, meander what looks more like a walkway than a road.  I’m not sure if/how you are supposed to drive through it.

You are buried in the same cemetery where my grandmother’s remains are.  That chill grey day of her funeral I went out in the muck with my fancy shoes as though I would find your grave easily.

Today I’m not sure if the little building at the entrance contains a directory.  I don’t go inside.  I drive, then walk around looking for the hill from my memory of that day.

That memory is out-of-proportion,.  We are gathered on top of a green hill.  There is no memory of any other graves, just yours, your grey and white casket on a hill and under a sky like a Microsoft ad from that era.  Today in November the low hills are nothing like my memory.  I see your teacher arrive (and this is nearly funny, the way I see this) he rises over the hill like a pilgrim, or a Wise Man from the East, I almost see the air waver in front of him as though from the heat of the desert.  I see him with walking stick and robes, his real gear connected in my mind, I guess, with the tools and garments needed to survive in an uninhabitable place.  His presence thrills me.

I sit with our friend, for a minute, holding hands.  The two of us cross legged in front of that hole in the earth and the box containing the garbled, desecrated remains of you.

The memory of my resolve, glossy-eyed and far-sighted, seems shameful now in light of the grief that followed.  The worst wasn’t over.  But I knew that too.

I don’t find your grave today, I don’t stumble on it.  It seems like everyone here is so long dead.  I still haven’t been back, not in ten years.

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