Last Blush

Alex looked into the coffin where their father lay. Rouged and all dressed up and nowhere to go, he thought. He shook his head. How machinations of undertakers steal the last vestige.

“He don’t even look like Old Joe,” Joe D said. He shook his head. “Too much rose.”

“In the pink,” Freddy said. His brothers looked at him. Alex frowned. Joe D raised an eyebrow, let blow a sigh and a grimace and looked away.

But Freddy was not grinning as he usually was when he said something like ‘in the pink.” He said it again.

“In the pink no more,” he said.

Then the three of them stepped back and watched the lid’s shadow close over the flushed artifice of their father’s face. Four of their sons lifted the coffin and carried it out where a sunset blush hung, with a final heaviness, over the white crowned mountains.

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