The Tomb

by Susan Miller

The old Dodge sits at the bottom of Devil's Holler ... there, molted and green with age old moss, it stares up through the green shrouded woods with deadened, hollow eyes.  

I stagger toward Daddy's old truck, and the breath sticks shut my throat. And my heart bolts from my chest.  

The jealous briars that guard my father's final resting place are determined not to share their secrets as they rip and shred my hands. 

And I see the small handgun;  the horrible hole in Daddy's skull.  The mouth open in shameful regret.  My father's dead eyes that mimic that of his tombs.  My breath lets go a gasp, and I finally ... finally know. 

He'd tousled my hair that last day I'd seen him -- those forty years ago. His spoken words had revealed nothing, but the far-off look in his eyes had told me, "Son, good-bye." 

No tears flow, and I emit no wails of sorrow in the still of this dark green, hallowed place. 

I turn around, and without a sound, I climb up from Devil's Holler.  Into the warm and loving sun.