Roadside Casket Lot

Down from hooking trout in icy Rocky Mountain creeks, grass packed
around their rainbow backs in the creel for the long ride home, Grandpa
just gone, Dad slowed. “Good time as any to check out a box.”
The highway had run out of high-country splendor, dull and dusty, rents
cheap, glaring signs. The salesman led Grandma by the arm, the wake
of us dragging behind as he named prices; mahogany, walnut; steel
most durable; best deals. “Two for one,” he winked at Grandma.

Whatever the price, she quipped in Irish brogue, eyebrows raised,
“Well then, I can’t afford to die. He’ll have to do it for both of us.”
Despite grief, we laughed the sun out of the sky among rows of caskets
lit with other-wordly glow, mountains in silhouette, the salesman
sputtering time to close, come again. Memory dims but for those trout,
even if Grandma fried them in too much fat and cornmeal. They tasted
near heaven as we feasted, toasting Grandpa, fishing out the bones.

(c) Perie Longo

Live Encounters, January, 2017




Perie Longo
Looking for Jamal

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