And Night Coming On {Janice D Soderling}
She picks her way through broken mussel shells, sponge fragments, and melting jellyfish, her head jerking and bobbing under the mourning hat she's worn since that day, black silk and with bloodstained feathers drooping. Our footprints on the wet sand demonstrate the wide berth I try to give her and how she presses ever closer until I am nearly walking in the water. Her spiteful eyes glare through the torn veil as earlier from behind the peeling latticework that secures her upper windows. The lower windows of the house are shuttered tight as her puckering mouth. I am loath to see her, to hear her whiskey voice as she passes a little too close, one brief word: Remember. As if I could ever forget. And I know that her dangling, beaded purse holds, today as yesterday, today as a decade ago, my letter, the ring, her little penknife with the ivory casing, the little hand-shaped thing with a missing finger.