Cui Yuwei 7#–Finding the Gravestone

Finding the Gravestone

after grandpa died

his second son buried him in a little patch of soil

at the corner of some farmland in the countryside

one summer I was led by a farmer

on a dirt road

winding to the far edge of the village

his tomb was half smothered by wild grass

which thrived unevenly upwards

it was very hard to find a spot

to kneel down and kowtow

no gravestone there

his second son said when his mother died they would be buried

together in the cemetery

another two years passed and grandma

passed on in the nursing home

they burned her and dug out grandpa, I mean the casket

with his ashes

then they took them to the cemetery

there was a gravestone this time but

they carved out a wrong character in my daughter’s name

I told them it was a mistake but they just let it go

a dead person wouldn’t know, they said

I visited them twice in the cemetery

but got lost each time among those bleak, dark stones

so much alike…

twice I gave up searching, leaned against a stone

near the roadside

I called their names and they knew

I was there

墓碑

爺爺死後

二叔把他埋在

鄉下菜地邊的一塊黃土下

有年夏天

一位村民領我順著一條土路拐進去

瘋長的野草

把他的墳遮了一半

很難找到一塊能落腳磕頭的地方

碑沒有立,二叔說過,等奶奶死後

再去公墓合葬

兩年後,奶奶死在養老院

他們焚燒了她,又挖出爺爺,我是說

挖出他的骨灰盒

再一同帶進公墓

這次終於有碑了,可他們卻把我女兒的名字

刻錯了一個字

我說弄錯了,他們也不當回事

那意思是死人知道什麼

我去公墓看過他們兩次

每一次

我都迷失在林立的墓碑之間

死去的人

都有一張相同的臉

我兩次放棄搜尋

揀了一座緊挨路邊的碑倚靠著

我喚他們的名字

他們知道

我就在那兒

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