Ozzie Ausband


… a road runs black. Twilight. Trees grow in a tunnel as headlights stab and seek. I drive through it.  I see crows rise and flutter by the roadside. The birds run these grounds. I watch a wrought iron fence grow out of the darkness and climb over a nearby hill as it encircles what looks like a cemetery. I smile to myself. I briefly hum The Smith’s song- ‘Cemetery Gates’ as I bank the wheel down a dusty driveway and onto the property. Burial plots stretch out into the night. The air is hushed. Insects quiet. Waiting… I wander among the dead. I let my palms slide across rough tombstones. Headstones from the turn of the century are sprouting out of the grass. My fingers trace the names of the long-forgotten. Who were these people? Did they live in fear? Love? Was the world a better place back then? Were they victims of violence or just the advancing years?  Personally, I wasn’t sure which was more painful: unrealized dreams or unrequited love? Pain. Futility… holding on until the end. Shuffling through the silence was eerie.  I felt no fear. Sometimes I feel as though I am one of the dead. I suppose we all ponder such things from time to time. A shadowy stone mausoleum squats in the lush grass ahead of me. Weeds grow rank against its base. Neglected. I read the last name inscribed on the stone face: J.M. Binniock. I’m reminded of our own - Bob Biniak - who passed on about two years ago. Greatness.  I wonder if this J.M. Binniock was as inspiring in his time as our Bob Biniak was in ours. I suppose people never really die, as long as we keep thinking about them. A dark bird startles me as I round the side of the mausoleum. It arcs above my head towards a tree, harking at my intrusion. I smile and wish it well. It dwells here in the quiet places. The deep earth welcoming us all…  Ozzie

Bob Biniak R.I.P.