• A walk in the cemetery

    gravestones in the sunshine
    A cemetery on a sunny day (Photo by Simeon Muller)

    I took a walk in the cemetery. The air was so clear that it made life undeniable. I stood on an asphalt path, looked at my shoes, inside which were my feet. I examined my legs and my torso. I was alive in a sea of dead. A massacre. Those who hadn’t made it strewn across the ground all around me.

    The view to the distant hills is fine, but I’m the only one who can see it. What a view! And in the corner of the cemetery, obscured behind a hedge, I find a children’s cemetery. The hedge creates an awful tenderness, to think that others have tried to shield their little ones from the wider cemetery by a beech hedge, and so from the enormity of what has befallen them.

    There is a pitiless howl about a child’s grave. The fluttering butterfly on a string, the toy dinosaur, the flowers. There is nothing left but to walk away.

    As I depart the gates, a shock of pigeons break from a tree, scattering into the cool blue air. Then, from the wall, I see a sleek young ginger cat, a pigeon in its jaws that is virtually its size. The pigeon is beating its wings in protest. The cat has it by the throat. It won’t let go. It drops down below the wall with its prey.