Gray Funeral

Posted 1/31/2015

My bare scalp, tight and numb, curls beneath the cold. I hear the pastor’s voice, floating over the muffled buzz of my violin case’s zipper. I am the resurrection and the life. He that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. On my violin, my fingers, like alien creatures crawling and groping at the end of my arm, play the hymn. A canopy covers the vault and the heavy, green coffin. The whisper of a quiet sky dulls the bright, plastic blue. The wet flotsam of snow clings to my shoes’ edges, and on the ground, my crumpled jacket lies distorted beside my violin case. Cold wind, curling above the old cemetery, settles and sits quietly, a plank of air on the graves. Douglas Wilson’s bible crinkles and flutters. Grief at a Christian funeral, he says, is like the grief you see at airports. The grief of a farewell to those whom we will not see for a long time. Therefore we wait in earnest hope of the resurrection. Children, cold and happy in huge jackets, are throwing dark crimson onto the coffin. A prickly peak of roses. Rare flurries are sliding down the cold air’s flat plane, angling their way into the scene, resting on the hard graves and the asphalt, on the patient grass, spinning together the tree life, spinning both the living and the dead.