“Cemetery” by Jennifer Blair

Sometimes when I am not in my right
mind they run errands and I usually
do not ask where they are going—too
grateful for the relief of a dark room—
not having to know the clock hands’
whereabouts. Today, after dinner in
town, however, it is my daughter who
suddenly cries from the backseat that
she does not want to go back yet.
My husband nods then takes us down
the road. Here, he says, is one of the
places we go. We drive slowly by
ceramic crosses and American flags,
then pause at the stones near woods’
edge, appreciating late light slatting
down pine trunks as knots of glowing
fern and bracken suggest another
unmarked path beyond this patch of
soberness and order. A rabbit appears
near some lichen encrusted lilies then
quickly scampers off into long grass
as we turn out and go the back way
home past the bait shop, and fields
of freshly mown hay—sweet smell of
their sacrifice rising up past Pecan
trees with branches full of dusk.
There is nothing left to say so I
only reach for my husband’s hand—to
affirm our day of days, our hour
of hours, which shall not come again.

Jennifer Blair teaches at the University of Georgia. Her work has been published in Copper Nickel, New South, Barely South Review, Kestrel, James Dickey Review, and Segue, among others. She is also the author of a chapbook, All Things are Ordered, from Finishing Line Press.