The Benches/02

So there I am, up a tree – plenty of time on my paws to ponder on things, to let thoughts roll in and out of my consciousness.  There one comes; it leaves an impression, plants a seed in my awareness, and there it goes again, to be replaced by another.  They roll in; they roll out again.

Some of them stay – rest with me awhile – and stir feelings deep within me.

Words swirl in my brain,

the bench’s refrain:

“Rest awhile in memory of Bill & Ivy Cartwright”.

The names – of a certain generation – recall my maternal grandparents to me.  How long they have been gone, now.

How precious is life – as I stretch, in my tree – and how permanent, death.

I ponder the sadness of parting, of passing, of loss; and

Oh.

There he is again, suddenly.

Hullo, Dadski.

Hullo and Goodbye, all in one breath.  For he too is long gone.  So… 

“Rest awhile in memory of Henry Ruskin”, intones the voice in my head.

Or, to use his Polish name, the name he grew up with:

“Rest awhile in memory of Henryk Wladyslaw Ruszkiewicz”.

And I do, for a moment.

For my father has no bench, no plaque, no moss-covered gravestone.

There is no urn of ashes on the mantelpiece, and never was.

He just went up in smoke

Pff

When I was a child

And that was that.

Sometimes I just have to keep very still, with the sadness of it.

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