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Yesterday we visited Tommy’s grave. Visitation: the official visit of inspection; also the appearance of a divine or supernatural being. Statues and plaques dedicated to Grandpa and Beloved Dad had fallen, knocked over by the tail end of a hurricane, which we dutifully set upright. As we left, teenagers strolled in, holding hands, taking a shortcut among the dead to their housing estate. Horses neighed and cows lowed from passing trailers. On Teapot Lane, huge sacks of wool lined the alley. Children laughed in the tiny Protestant cemetery, picking their way through the stones of the derelict church, under standalone gables furred in ivy. Only last winter a man was found dead in the snow there, first discerned by a woman looking out of her kitchen window during breakfast. The dead are still with us, never straying far from our thoughts and dreams, reminding us to recall them and give them flesh with memory.


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