In Memoriam

Snow thick as marshmallow fluff crunched satisfyingly beneath our boots. Our breaths came in white ghosts. Sneaking looks at me under the brim of his Phillies cap, Taylor was about to say something. I silenced him with an arched eyebrow. We are at the wrought iron gates. I remember Mr. Levin saying how on Sundays slaves here used to work for themselves to earn their freedom as iron mongers or plaiting cane chairs and some such. Heavy with patches of black enamel, this iron work with undulating angel wings and chains broken was clearly a work of pure joy. I donkey kicked the rust gate open and continued in.
The snow swaddled the tombstones. Many were small and fallen. Others leaned drunkenly. Simple slabs jostled statuary in metal and granite. I walked on watching for frost harden vines hidden ready to twist an ankle. Taylor stepped in my steps.
Muggsy, Sheba, Mr. Snugglepants, Tinkerbell, the engraved names watched us as we trudged to the back of the pet cemetery. I picked through broken birds, dogs, and a sleeping cat covered in frosted moss. The remains of a massive tree sighed across my path. Carefully I scrabbled over it. There it is a Jack Russell terrier on its hind legs front paws raised to the sky. Its perfect head is turned slightly over his stone shoulder looking at me just like Tank used to. Memories of Tank fall on my cheeks like snowflakes. We discovered this place years ago on one of our long meanderings before he…
Taylor touched my arm. Tossing down my sack, I flinched his hand away. Avoiding his eyes I handed him the crowbar.
“Hurry before anyone see us.”

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