On behalf of the known.
6.5.18 – Re-expiring
We didn’t have postcards for refrigerators, nor magnets made to remind us of towns passed, but the people there would remember the slow rumble of metal wheels grinding down the long rails behind houses and factories in the march back home. Those inhabitants had stepped out to say thanks to the man capped in black and laid to rest at the center of the metal snake. It too was draped in the night’s cloth and worked its way through the small backcountry villages and larger cities with the march of a mournful parade. There was no rush to the gravesite and more time to let the world set its knees to the piled gravel for a great man who couldn’t watch the patient pedestrians bow their chins. It was respect given without remark or hard consideration, just people leaning towards an acolyte of goodwill that had fallen in a world at dusk.
The procession lumbered on up the coast, crossing the great bodies of water between this state and the next. The lakes were usually still but the wind rustled them up so that the waves threw out white gasps like strew tears at the passing dead before settling back to a dark murmur that matched the shade of the coach. His legacy would be carried like that breeze, ever on and over vast spaces, and elicit the same response as that cold body of water. For now it was only silence that came from close throats, with all the other sounds taken by heavy steel churning him towards a deep rest. The journey would keep turning the earth to pressure him into a marked history where his name and crest might still shine some half decade later and the people who knew his face and shook his hand were laid beside him. And so we came, to watch him steady on by.