the short story project


G.G. Hamilton

Cover My Casket in Ribbon

While pulling the stray ribbon that covers the wings of a bird carcass, I wonder if it would be considered poor taste to put a bow on a casket. A nice, thick, red bow, like the ones put on Christmas presents. The bow would signify the $2,000 gift of wood being given to the Earth, and the priceless gift of a dead body.
The tangled ribbon I’m peeling off the bird is cheap, probably the stuff from the dollar store that needs to be sharpened with a knife to curl. Probably used for a half-hearted birthday party where both the kid and the parents didn’t care about the ribbons or the balloons put on display. There was probably no dismay when the balloons popped and were placed in the garbage can alongside the ribbons.
By lifting up one end of the ribbon, I make the bird spin like a trapeze artist. The weight of the bird’s body and the force of gravity work together to unravel one of the wings.
When the bird was flying about, it was probably tricked by the shining ribbon. The bird was probably thinking that ribbon would be a great insulant for its home. Bright colour, nice texture, and easy to carry. It probably didn’t expect the ribbon to take away its flight. Probably didn’t expect this to be its last journey for home supplies.
Even now, the ribbon looks pretty though. The shine and bright colour would certainly liven up even the most solemn of funerals.     

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