Empty, white, canvas tents,
agitated by gusts of wind, stood
on upright poles, and looked
skyward at gray clouds.

White caps danced on the surface
of the river, as vines struggled
to hold onto wire trellises.

Anxiety spread like fog and rolled
down the hill, over the vineyard, and
into the river.

But, as the hour grew near, a glimmer of sun
flitted lightly among the clouds. A small
umbrella of blue began to open in the sky,
slowly extending its reach in all directions.

A serpentine line of guests wended its way
to the river's edge, taking seats that faced a
resurgent sun.

Chamber music filled the air; a bird sang to
the music. Some believed the voice was that
of an invited guest, who had passed away the
night before.

Ministerial words floated toward the heavens,
invoking the memory of grandparents whose
ashes had found rest in the vineyard, long ago.

Parental tears flowed to the ground on which they
had stood years before, where their daughter stood
this day.

From the river to which anxiety had rolled, joy rose
up and ascended the hill, embracing the celebrants
with outstretched arms.

Under the light of the moon, in air so fresh, so still,
and cool, the serpentine line of departure began to
form. A drop at first, then a few more, began to fall.
The lunar brightness began to dim, as the still air
began to stir. A bird began to sing.

Eric Miller is a retired dentist who has laid down his drill for a quill. His short story, "Raindrops and Postcards," has been accepted by
"The Storyteller," and will be published in October.


Copyright 2009