Pleasant buzzing white space

Chris Liu-Beers

Chris Liu-Beers

It was a bright sunny day with a big blue Colorado sky and happy puffs of clouds that was the day we were going to bury her ashes, and beforehand I went for a good long hard run.

The advantage of running was that afterward I had no thoughts.

Jan Erik Waider

Jan Erik Waider

Or if a thought came, it was slow as a fern unfurling.

And so by the time it was half past two and we had gathered at the cemetery, my legs were quivery and there was a white space in my head.

Leon Ephraim

Leon Ephraim

A pleasant, buzzing white space.

The funeral home had erected a small tent in the grass and we gathered beneath it. Because of cemetery rules there was a rabbi presiding.

He said a few words.

“She was gracious and strong and good to her family.”

We were all nodding, looking down.

“She was kind and good-humored.”

Yes, yes she was.

“She was not judgmental.”

Well, I thought, slowly raising up my eyes. C’mon now.

But someone was handing me a thornless rose. The service had ended. I stood grasping the rose, aimless. Someone gestured. Put it there, they were saying, lay it there on the dusty brown dirt.

It was over. I was following them out into the sun.