We buried my grandfather’s ashes yesterday, two months exactly from the day he died, in the small cemetery up the street from the lot where my grandparents’ house used to stand and just down the railroad tracks from the house I grew up in, in a plot that was, years ago, part of their neighbors’ front yard. I used to play in that cemetery sometimes – the kids who lived near my grandparents and I ducking behind headstones, pretending we were Power Rangers (we always pretended we were Power Rangers), or sledding down the hill at the cemetery’s edge, toward the backwater swamp that separated my grandparents’ small neighborhood from my own, upriver.
The last time I was there, the old church was being torn down. They’d sold the stained glass windows, and I climbed through the open frame left behind to find the church’s one room filled with toppled pews and waterlogged hymnals, and, inexplicably, a microwave and television.
I took a hymnal with me and when I got home I realized it was full of silverfish.