I am at the monument to gay people persecuted during the war.
Steps lead to a point
Which looks to a future, the sign reads
Water in the canal comes up against the strong stone,
And recedes.
There are a group of women sitting on the steps dressed all in black.
At first I feel glad to have chanced upon a group of women, here,
Hopefully, probably, likely, lesbian?
They have champagne flutes in their hands
And are speaking a language I don’t understand
It looks like a celebration,
And in a way it is,
They move forward and place white flowers
At the furthermost point
Position them carefully across each other.
Ashes flow over and into the water
Carried through the air
Moved by their grief.
A reading, in quieter tones
I’ve moved away so
Not to intrude on their sadness
The celebration one of a life left,
Taking the next step, the loss felt.
I hope the person got to know how much their friends cared.
They’re crying now,
But gather close
To one another.
Photo by the author 

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