May 07, 2006

A Burial

Outside, a slate November sky hangs low, its belly resting on the rooftops of our neighbors' houses. From this, I know to wear my blue parka, the one with the deep pockets and fake fur lining the hood.

I grab my red wagon and drag it, clattering, down the front steps. I don't like the noise it makes as I pull it behind me down the sidewalk. I like silence, but the noisy wagon is essential to my walks.

Secretly, I am pleased that the street is empty. No people, no cars. Everyone is at church except parents are atheists. My parents are asleep in their big brass bed that is as high as the tip of my nose. I am also thankful for that. Alone is how I like to be in the world.

A few feet in front of me I see her, laying stiff on the cement. I close the gap and squat down to look more closely. A mother squirrel, of this I am sure. No did she die here? There is something coming out of her that looks like yellow eggs. I think these must be her babies.

Tears spill, not for her death, but because she will never know her babies and they will never know her. Because I knew the place where she fell meant that something had taken her life, something Because she should not be left to rot on this street made of oily asphalt.

Carefully, I pick up her rigid body and place her gently into the wagon. I walk more slowly now, trying to avoid the bumps in the sidewalk. I look back to make sure she is not jostling too much, and I cringe when I see her furred body slide from side to side.

I bury the mother and her babies in the brown dirt beneath the bowed branches of our weeping willow. This is where my own mother plants bulbs every year. I won't tell her...she would be mad.


Anonymous said...

As we each face aging and ultimately death, may we be met by a kind soul such as yours. May we be held, cried over amd loved. May our lives, our memories and our children have meant something; may each moment of our lives have counted towards the well being of all.

May the loving moments ever grow.

--John B

famjaztique said...

John, I hope that I continue to find my own kindness, which too often gets lost in the daily grind.

Thank you for these beautiful thoughts.

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