The Neighbor's Flag
Nine years ago today on that terrible Tuesday, in the afternoon, the neighbors put up a flag. The first flag faded badly and tore in a wind storm a year or so later, and then the neighbors put up a new flag, and this is the one in the picture. There it has been through winter and summer, day and night, fading.
The 'Little Gem' Magnolia they had planted turned out to be not 'Little Gem' but a full sized Magnolia grandiflora, and it has grown and grown and hidden the flag from the street, and from the neighbor's view. I see it from the vegetable garden, in the space between two Pittosporums, dusty and apparently forgotten. What has been forgotten most of all is how we were, instantly and without hesitation, all united.
We were all shocked by the terrible loss of that day, but it is supremely ironic that so much, much more has been lost since.