A Brief History

On a hillside above Twin Lakes Road
a hand-painted sign beside a rugged cross
reads, “In loving memory of Josh and Rachel—
you will be in our hearts always.”

Up to last winter, cut flowers and a watering jug
accompanied the tribute, but now the plywood
delaminates in August’s heat without the splash
of color that long kept the memorial fresh.

At roadside, county-erected signage suggests:
Below, a second panel begins IN MEMORY OF…
and peters out in random weathered letters.

Given the clues, one might well piece together
those remains and resurrect RACHEL and JOSHUA
but their surnames would be mere conjecture.
Snowplowed debris are no respecters of the dead.

       What does it mean to “never forget”?
       How many trips up the hillside
       might satisfy a grief-struck pledge
       made to that statue of limitations?

       Twenty-five years from now some poet
       will likely scrawl lines similar to these
       regarding a different fading memorial
       elsewhere—on Twisp River Road.

Joshua Robert Atkisson, 15, d. August 15, 1997
Rachel Lynn Sandy, 16, d. August 16, 1997
Kierra Juergens Reichert, 19 d. July 18 2023

About Greg Wright

I have worn many hats as a writer and editor over the years. Unlike my scholarly and journalistic work from the "old days" at Hollywood Jesus, Past the Popcorn, or SeaTac Blog, the writing here is of a more overtly personal and spiritual nature. I hope it provokes you as much as it provokes me.
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