I walk across the quilt of glistening snow. The dying sun casts blue, white and yellow gems on the crust beneath my booted feet. The air crackles with cold. My breath billows, furls in the air, then disintegrates before my eyes.
Miles and miles of white marble headstones line up in straight rows. I turn and they all sift into diagonal arrangement. I search for Mom’s grave and hope I’m not too late.
Years have passed. I was away from home, trying to find myself. I didn’t know my womanhood, my selfhood, lived in the stories I didn’t stay around to hear.
I find the headstone.
Margaret Leah Peters
Beloved wife, mother, daughter, sister

            I kneel and trace the carved letters of my mother’s name. I press my ear to the frigid earth. Silence. All the stories are gone.

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