It’s been 40 years since I was last here at your grave. The tree I’d planted on your burial mound in the marsh waters has grown large and looming. It’s roots have shifted the gravestone; lichen has grown, beard like, over your name carving. With my sickle’s dull edge I scrape away enough to read it.
The tree provides shadow. Plants grow beneath it, around the grave, in the fragrant, rotting mulch.
The marsh trees mark dry ground, lets one know where to stand between these moss covered waters, between the grasses and reeds.
I sit and eat, cut slices of onion and cheese. We used to do this decades ago, but the cheese had been softer goat’s cheese, made in our home.
That house is gone. The walls have rotten — only skeletal timbers remain. Just like my memories of you: only the skeleton, warped by age and retellings, remain. The ephemera of our lives have become dust and slipped away.
But our years together still shape my life. I can see, like the tree grown from your corpse, the flowers that have sprung from our time together — in how I act, how I feel, how I think.