Wednesday, March 25, 2015


We’ve made this journey for well over three decades, this journey every March to my Grandfather’s grave site. Before we leave out the front door on the chosen day, my father would pour each of us an ounce of his father’s favorite drink: a glass of thick chocolate milk topped with frozen sliced strawberries.  We'd have a moment of silence, and it's so quiet that we can  hear ourselves breathe. And I wince every time from the brain freeze brought on by cold  fruit.

And then we make the long march to the grave. We walk a mile through dense woods, down to where the
river breaks from left to right. And right there, as the river turns, we rest. But only for a moment.

I get scared there, right at the river bend. Thirty years ago when I was a ten-year-old boy, we saw a bear, a big one. But lucky for us, a gentle wind blew, and the bear decided to follow the wind instead of following us.

After marching for awhile, we can see the grave from where we stand, covered in a thick blanket of bright green moss.

“Let’s clean Daddy’s grave,” my father says, his voice an odd mixture of excitement and sadness.

We his children are happy to oblige. The five mile walk is worth my own father’s sad smile. We clean my grandfather’s grave. We talk of good times long gone.  And after we pay our respects, we make the long walk back, the long march back home.

From: Workplace Creative Writing Group, Washington DC, March 17, 2015.

10 minute writing exercise: Use the following 12 nouns and verbs in either a poem or prose about MARCH. Title your piece “March”.

grave, pour, bear, breaks, rivers, rest, moss, follow, wind, turns, door, breath

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Slap the *crickets* out the way, kindly step up to the mike, and SAY something!!