Headstones

Story and Photos by Les Tanner

The early afternoon sun shining through bare limbs casts thin shadows on the browning lawn. Sparrows flit back and forth between the sheltering branches of an evergreen and the ground below. The sky is cloudless, the air is calm but chilly. There beneath the locust trees a lone figure stands, unmoving, silhouetted against the amber stubble fields beyond.

He’d been fishing for the past week, and he’d no more than walked in the kitchen door and announced, “I’m home!” when the question came.

“Guess what I did yesterday, dear?” she asked.

“I don’t have a clue,” he responded.

He never had a clue, even after all these years.

He couldn’t count the times that they’d had a conversation that went like this:

“Well, what do you think about that?”

she would ask.

“What do I think about what?”

“About what I was just saying.”

“But you weren’t saying anything. You were just sitting there staring out the window.”

Actually, he wasn’t positive that she hadn’t been speaking. He’d been accused more than once of not paying attention.

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