Soft Ground, Soft Grass

April 5, 2012
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An old shed with hinges rusting creaks and moans and lurches with the wind. The roof shudders and shingles break and fall down to the soft ground, the soft grass. I was never sure why sheds needed shingles in the first place, but maybe that’s why this one has stuck around for so long. They don’t seem to be helping much anymore. Black, they look like fish scales settling into the earth. They remind me of a story I read once, when the sea rose above a town and into the sky, and the fish scales came down like rain.

The air smells like wet wood and the shed sinks deeper into the soft ground, the soft grass. Holes invite termites to stay and feast and termites invite termite-eating insects to come as well. The wood trembles with life. The shed that was the symbol of death holds so much life now. Holding life after helping to take it away.

The old abandoned shed in the old abandoned cemetery. Never used much, but it holds in it things that were once so important, and aren’t now. The people weren’t important, the cemetery wasn’t important, the shed is not important. There are only a handful of graves, marked by mossy stones that can’t even be called white anymore. Each stone has names and lives engraved on it. Names and lives that have faded away into the rock, into the soft ground, the soft grass.

I sit next to a stone with etched words unknown to all those living. I know what they said. What they still say if you look past the moss and past the stone and into the heart of the matter, into the coffin that lays buried deep, deep under the stone. Into the person who once was and who never will be again. Her name was Rose and she was I and I am she but we are no more. She sleeps under the soft ground and the soft grass.

But I, I am ever awake.

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