A Brief Encounter

Grandfather died last night. The funeral is Friday. Please bring his uniform. Dan

The words tightened my throat. I saw my grandmother place the phone in its cradle, carefully. Grandpa died this morning. Nothing more. She sat at the kitchen table; folded her hands on the white enamel top. Grandma’s hands quiet?

Thick stationary in my hand. Addressed to Betty. No address. No stamp. A million Bettys in this city.

I’d seen the envelope on the sidewalk below the corner mailbox, thought someone dropped it, the flap open.

LossĀ filled my eyes. At the corner trash can, I placed it on a crushed newspaper, carefully.