Ausmon in the grave(yard)

G and I took a walk through a sprawling graveyard this morning. I read the markers out loud, searching for the old names on their flat bleached quartz or newer marble headstones: Ida, Raymond, Ruth, Wilbur, Matilda, Wenonah Mae. We wandered for about an hour, up hills and down. Around a German section (or two). Past what appeared to be the Jewish quarter. Through a white colonnade (ah, the Greeks). Gabriel would point out the trash cans and water faucets and dirt movers; I sang “Three Little Birds” (the Elizabeth Mitchell version) to keep him from demanding to be let out. And then we came across Ausmon:

Did his children choose the photo? Did his wife? Probably he did. I imagine he was a Greek or Italian bocce playing, park bench lounging restaurant owner (gyros, pizza, and chicken fried steak) who’d be damned pleased to have his visage immortalized thus(ly). I said a prayer for Ausmon and moved on, asking special blessings for his (no doubt) forbearing wife of fifty years.

Ella, Crete, Esther, Hazel, Hettie, Gus…

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