At the Corner
We hung what we could think of around the tree stump; small tokens and memories and promises of remembrance. We tried not to think of the headlights flaring over the place where a tree had been, not so long ago. We tried to not to think of the screech of brakes and the sudden look of surprise on a white face, already slack with alcohol, behind the wheel.
Caroline hung a string of old feathers that her grandmother had given her – to ward off evil spirits, she said, as if this place wasn’t haunted enough already. She said her people believed that all a soul needed was one day of freedom to make it across the desert of the afterlife and to safety.
The police told us that we had a week before they started taking things down – too much could lead to a distraction for passing motorists, they said. Usually, they said, they allowed a week. Remember, they said. A week. They spoke to all of us, as if hoping a leader would emerge from the gathered crowd to take responsibility.
It was dull and dark overhead, and our bright ribbons and pieces of cloth fluttered in the breeze.