Anchored in bright yellow rain boots was a lank man lurking in his back yard. His buttery galoshes barely came up over his ankles, hardly hiding the knee high white socks with the never fashionable red and blue stripes. In the inch between where the socks ended and his khaki shorts began was a patch of leg that even the sun dared not gaze upon.
Incomprehensible grunts poured out of him as the spade he grasped with thick gloves dug deep into the soil. Swinging out of his shirt with each forceful thrust into the ground was a thin gold chain displaying a thin gold cross. It was a gift from his daughter given at his grandson’s baptism. Today, he had different business with the Lord.
From his crouched digging position, he peered over one shoulder and looked directly into the heavens. As one might say, dem’s fightin’ glances. His answer was a wicked crack of lightning followed by a plate rattling boom of thunder. Even the rain began to spill harder from the dark clouds filling the sky.
The shovel took another hunk of earth from the ground and then he paused. Even in this rain, the sweat poured heavily from beneath his green cotton jungle hat. It was another gift from his daughter from a trip two summers ago to Walt Disney World.
Tilting his hat, he wiped his brow and left a war paint smudge of mud across his face. He could feel it as it was happening, the transfer of sweat to mud, but this time he kept his head down. His eyes cast a steady gaze at the shoebox sitting on the grass amongst the puddles beginning to form. He tapped it with his boot, then reached down, grabbed it and placed it in the hole he had just dug.
Taken to the spade one more time with a shovel full of dirt, he took one more glance upward. In a window at the corner of his house was a little boy with tears filing those little eyes.