Roscoe jerked the mower awake. It sputtered and smoked. He watched the silver puff rise into the breeze. He wondered how to make a cloud. An image came to mind of Jesus trimming the lawn in heaven. Jesus would come up close on the street of honeysuckle and sunshine without scraping the blade. Roscoe knew Jesus could do that with no problem. By the time he finished a few rows he could smell the fresh grass in the air. He stopped and inhaled thinking that if every cemetery smelled this good nobody would mind dying. Not much.

He saw a brown Lincoln pull in. It moved slower than most cars he’d seen in the Gardens. Its right front tire slipped off the pavement, cutting a shallow rut along the road.
“Hey. You can’t ride on the grass any!”
The car drove up the curving hill over towards the older section of the Gardens. Roscoe choked out the mower. Mr. Reynolds would want him to say something.
“Say it politely. But say it anyway.” Mr. Reynolds would say.

The car squeaked to a stop so loud it echoed along the tree line.
Roscoe came up on the vehicle as the door opened.
A woman’s leg, wrapped in thick beige nylons, swirled in the air trying to find the earth.
Roscoe stood still.
“Ma’am. I gotta ask that you don’t drive on the grass.”
A mumbled reply as the foot found solid ground.

She stood no more than four feet and wore sunglasses that covered half her face along with most of her profile. Her lips danced around inaudible words. Roscoe caught a whiff of her lavender powder. He coughed. The lady didn’t move. She turned her head back and forth. Behind her sunglasses weak eyes squinted.
“Ma’am. I gotta ask you–”
“Where’s Howard?” she said. Her voice was high with cracks arriving at the end of the sentence.
“Ma’am, I can help you find anyone. Been here twenty years.”
“You moved him. You people have moved my Howard somewhere. He was over there last week. But that ain’t his marker. I know his marker. That ain’t Howard’s marker!”
“Ma’am, we don’t move nobody at the Gardens. The state don’t like it, the families don’t like it and most of all, God don’t like it, at all. We don’t move folks here, ma’am. I can help you find him if you want. Whass his lass name?”
“What? I asked where you moved Howard and you start your preaching ’bout God.”
“No ma’am. I won’t preaching on nothing at all. I was just telling you…Ma’am I can help you find him. Whass his lass name?”
“Carlyle. Howard Carlyle. He was 6 foot tall with this wavy black hair. No gray hair. Howard never had no gray hair. Beautiful black hair. He was near–”
“The white stone. He over by the white stone.” Roscoe said.
“Well, I don’t know anyone named Whitestone. And I’m sure my Howard doesn’t either.”
“No ma’am. White stone ain’t a person it’s a stone. That’s white. Is over that little hill and to the right some. You’ll see it plenty. Carlyle is next to Mrs. Hewitt”
“Abigail Hewitt! That’s right. My Howard is next to Abigail.” she said. A smile cracked the foundation on her face.
“Yes ma’am. Her marker it just say Hewitt but I know it’s a woman’s marker on account of only a man comes sees it. You can tell a person by who visits their marker.” Roscoe said.
“I bet so. Thank you. Over by the white stone? Thank you.”

She bent back into the brown Lincoln. They both topped the hill slowly. Roscoe heard the brakes squeak again before he pulled the lawn mower cord. He enjoyed the vibrations coming up through his hands. The silence hiding beneath the lawn mower’s whine let Roscoe’s mind drift into the privacy of loud noises. Cars drove by him as he cut down by the road. He felt the whoosh of warm air, smelled their exhaust but still heard nothing but the whine of the lawn mower. He noticed the grass clippings flying up and to the right. They looked like tiny helicopters to him. He remembered the helicopter seeds that would drift out of the wind in his Momma’s back yard. He’d throw them back up and laugh. When no one looked, he’d still do it. He finished up near 4 pm. The Chrysler was long gone and Roscoe had seen no other visitors all day. He liked his days productive, imaginative, and silent.

To avoid the giant gray house he left the Gardens from the back of the cemetery. Over the hill, passed that white stone and through the part where all the old, old graves where. The Confederate graves with names like Obadiah or Esther etched in them and mold sleeping on the sides. Bent over stone almost touched the earth. Roscoe let them be. God don’t want nobody touching no markers, he figured. If God wants the marker to fall, then let it fall Roscoe.
“Ain’t no mind of mine.” he said.

He cut through the woods and journeyed across the tracks. Roscoe came up on a privacy fence he hadn’t seen last time he went this way. He walked along the fence, towards the bridge, hoping to find the end so he could get back into town. The fence ended at the bridge. Roscoe came out a way up from the giant gray house. From this angle he could see the backyard completely. He looked at the landfill of a yard and letting his eyes drift upward they locked on a person in a back window.

Her hair was matted on top with ragged, unkempt bushes of hair on the side. Roscoe froze. She lifted a dirty hand and waved. Roscoe waved back. Across the top of the window an adult arm flashed then drew the curtain closed. Roscoe stood still. He didn’t know what he was waiting for, but he waited anyway. He replayed the girl’s image in his mind. Her wave, her hair.
Later that night, when Roscoe talked to Jesus, he asked
“Did you see her crying to?”

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