An Early Present
We plant petunias at Dad’s grave. I hoe out holes in front of the headstone. Frankie places the plants in and covers their roots with dirt. We plant two rows — three to a row — in a half-hour. When he wasn’t helping, Frankie stood on the pedestal of the memorial and lay across the top.
“Dad would love this. It’s just how he’d do it when Dad was alive,” Mom says.
We water the flowers. Stand back to collect our things. Finally, we look at the headstone.
I tighten my arm around Mom’s shoulders as her eyes finally glisten with tears.
a robin lands in her nest
fresh worm in her beak
more by FRANK J. TASSONE
photograph by Tanya Mallillin