This time the geese are talking to me. They’re everywhere. Along the shore, among the gravestones, on the driving path, in front of my car. I have to come to a full stop not to run them over.
I visit this cemetery once in a while to think of my mom whose ashes we spread in the lake. Today, because of the geese, because of their strange, insistent behavior, and because among all these Canada geese there is one white goose that comes right up to my window and we eye each other, I remember a previous visit to this spot, maybe fifteen, twenty years ago, during the short, frozen days of winter, a day that I stood on the snowy ground and glanced off in the distance and saw a woman leaning against a granite marker on the other side of the lake. She was alone and bundled and as still as a silent moment of prayer.
I walked a bit in that direction and as I got closer the shape of the woman dissolved and reconstituted as a flower urn with a cascade of plastic stems and leaves and blooms and I had to laugh at myself.
And now the geese. I step out of the car and they barely make room for me. The landscape is dotted with their droppings. You can hardly walk without stepping in it. They clearly own the place. They let me stay for a bit, these feathery spirits. So many of them. Too many to count. What flashes through my mind can’t be, of course. My mom wasn’t very tall and said she’d be reincarnated as a redwood tree, not a Canada goose.