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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 1, March 2018

Marilyn Fleming
Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA

White Eye of a Crow

The funeral home is like any other, until after kneeling up to Uncle Tony’s coffin, our aunt greets us and invites us to go downstairs for a spaghetti lunch, and to “look at all the stuffed animals”. Unaccustomed to eating lunch at a wake we take it all in stride. However, there is one caveat. The stuffed animals are taxidermied. It seems we will be eating lunch in the wild. It’s eerie to take this all in.

The spaghetti is exceptionally good. Our bellies full, we wander among squirrels sitting up to the bar with miniature steins of beer in front of them, some full, some nearly empty. Table legs have deer hoofs and lamp shades are made of deer skin. Along the wall we walk eye to eye with crows perched on branches. And looking down, my foot slips into the mouth of a black bear rug. But it’s the red fox that is most remembered, the way it appears to intermittently keen.

Suddenly we are in a hurry to leave. Upstairs we take one quick glance at Aunt Sofie with her camera flashing and tears streaming down her cheeks. And just like that, we walk back out into the street.

the quietude
of circling the coffin
mourning photos



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