An Essayby Melanie Viets
After Yves Berger’s monotypes of gravestones in Mieussy
I had meant to break a path to the farm cemetery. My father parks his car at the end of the dirt road and pushes his way through knee-deep snow. On the western hillside, curled beech leaves hang from ice-bent saplings and tick in the breeze of midwinter quiet. Softwood needles part to chickadees’ flit. The snow catches in gaps where my father’s pant legs tuck into felt-lined boots, drifts from branches to melt on his freshly shaven face. He turns right at a slip in the trees, the small cemetery’s entrance. A few steps in and without a search, he plunges his hand into a foot of powder to reach my sister’s gravestone.