Memorial for the Lost

Ralph picked up his shovel, walked out into the yard, and started digging.

It was a long, hot process. The day was cool, but the work warmed him, the sweat soon dripping off. He would stop for a moment, but only long enough to get cold. Then he put the shovel back in, and continued to dig.

It was some time before the hole was finished. It had to be deep – it always had to be deep, and Ralph had done this many times. The previous times were always deeper, Ralph stopped before he reached last year’s depth. He set the shovel down, took a moment’s breather, then went inside.

Returning with the box, Ralph reached the lip of his hole. He opened the box, looked down at its contents.

“Well, little ones,” he said. “You had friends. You lost them. I don’t know where. Maybe the dryer, maybe just my own clumsiness. Some of your fellows grew holes, and had to be discarded. Now is your day, to go off to gird the feet of angels.”

Ralph overturned the box into the hole, letting the socks flutter in. He checked the box to make sure they were all gone, then tossed it to the side. He looked once more at the many colours, then picked up the shovel once more.

As he threw the first clumps of dirt back in, he hummed Amazing Grace to himself.


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