The Scattering




Scattering the ashes didn’t go as well as planned.

First, there were six of us,

and we’d agreed to agree on where

the scattering would take place,

finally settling on Lucy’s garden,

with its spectacular view of Mount Washington;

and second, we had to select a date

that would work six times over.

On the chosen day,

as we carried our Zip-lock bags

through the kitchen to the back door,

I saw leaves, suddenly picked up by the wind

swirling into a gold and red vortex,

spinning merrily towards the garden.

Gyp, Lucy’s dog, lifted his nose and snorted

as if he’d been sprinkled with pepper,

and then went back to sleep,

leaving me to choke on

a laughing jag that came out of nowhere,

and barely stayed down.

After five somber eulogies,

and one abstention,

we tilted our bags,

knowing the autumn wind

and the coming winter would

take care of the rest.

We returned to the house

where the smell of cinnamon

stung our senses

with the same sharpness

as fermenting apple cider.

In the spring, Lucy called,

wanting to reminisce about the day.

Unable to continue ignoring my obvious

lack of interest, she finally said,

“I found a small bone in the garden, today.

I believe it belongs to you.”

Author: Virginia Wagner Galfo

These are scary times. Prepare yourself to take a stand for what is right. God damn it, just be kind!

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