Merwin's Antipode (Part Ten)


The winds of eternity were quiet at last. Perhaps she had been right all along.

He was sure he saw a smile arc her lifeless lips. With satisfaction, it seemed, they closed gently around the stem. Merwin let the rose drop in silence.

Those tender fingers outstretched. There she lay, peacefully, hands not clasped together but open as if waiting for something. Three pained steps and he was by her side again.

Merwin wasted no time with the others. Fragile. Hers was the only open casket, displayed like a tragic princess in the center of the room.

It didn’t take long. Arduously, Merwin limped into the parlor and scanned the placards for Julienne’s name. The mourners had already moved on. Just as he figured, he’d arrived too late. In the disappearing sunlight he emerged from the Land Rover and made his way up the funeral home steps.

Somehow. Apologies were futile but Merwin hoped it might make some cosmic difference. A pause to gaze at the pathetic lone flower. He parked, leaving the engine running.

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