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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Flag Carrier

Fluttering on the ground
Like a dead orange and black bird
I drove by it three times

Once yesterday
On the way into town for groceries
I considered what it could be
Because it reminded me of something
But I couldn't put my finger on it

I tried to remind myself to stop on the way back and pick it up
But I forgot

Today I saw it again
It hadn't mysteriously disappeared
Like so many things laying on the side of the road do

It was still fluttering in the wind of passing cars
Rocking back and forth
Orange and black

I tried to remind myself to stop on the way back and pick it up
This time I remembered

I pulled off onto the gravel shoulder
Grabbed it and got back in

My daughter exclaimed
"We got a prize!"

"There's one in every box"
I replied
Straightening out the fabric
That was wrapped around a springy stalk

It was a strangely proportioned cross
Much like a Chevrolet badge in black on an orange field
Simple block letters proclaiming

"FUNERAL"

It must have fallen from a car in a procession
One of the many that go back and forth
Between the funeral home and one of several graveyards

A small fluttering reminder
Of the short transition between death
And a final resting place

To make way
Dead person rolling