Memorial Day

Memorial rock
Sam Low

It’s a little after sunrise in the Chilmark cemetery. It’s quiet and cool under a mantle of cloud. Howard Coe’s tombstone is a simple round boulder with his name chiseled into it. Moss flecks the stone and someone has placed a clamshell on top of it. Howard served in the Navy during World War II, so there’s a flag next to his grave as there are on many others. The wind comes in soft puffs that ripple the flags, first at the top of a gentle hill, then others a little way down and finally Howard’s flag begins to move at his gravesite on a flat part of the cemetery near a cedar tree.

— Sam Low