Eulogy For Grandmother

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I dig with the toe of my boot through crusted snow and uncover his gray stone. Kneeling, I chip ice with a window scraper from the grooves of his name. I look into the wind.
Grandpa, I see a buck in the maple stand at the far corner of the cemetery.

He breaks the snow as he walks. Grandpa, if you could get up we 'd shake hands. We 'd see the wind drive snow between the buck 's legs, and he is as close to me as your spirit, which is quarreling with the winds between the grave markers.

I remember the argument with your sons. You refused to let them place a salt lick outside the blind to attract deer. They said that it would be like shooting ducks, but you wouldn 't go for it. You told them, "We 're hunters, not city boys."

You shot the only buck from that hunting trip and mounted it on the wall of your lake cottage. I remember the boathouse, the waves slapping the brick foundation, creaking ropes, chains, water lines on canvas, wood, dust in the
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I recall fishing with you behind the boathouse. We discussed the draft. "Grandma wants me to cut off your little finger. She said that you won 't miss it.” You reached into your back pocket for tobacco, placed a chew, and spat into the rainbow colors of gas on the water.

You went on to tell me that my uncles forgot how we came here. Great grandfather was in the German army during the 1890s. He came to this country to get away from the Kaiser. The German command sent him his draft notice in 1914.

He threw it away. Now we have a summer home. We fish and hunt like gentlemen. You decide what to do and live with it here. As our eyes locked, you slapped your chest above your hearts. Get up Grandpa. Give me your hand, and I will give you mine.

My hand holds a gun as you taught me to grip it. A hand able to intercept the wind, catch snowflakes and allow them to blossom into clear flowers in the canopy covering my blood 's creeks, streams, and rivers. Get up, and we 'll watch the white tail disappear into

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