Blue Mounds

We are walking the area called Blue Mounds
just outside of Madison, on a sunny summer day.
It’s another picnic, she loves to picnic,
and after we eat the bread, cheese, and wine, and apple slices,
the same picnic fare we have every time,
because she believes it to be romantic fare, I suppose,
she takes me by the hand.

“I want to show you something.”

We crest a small hill, one of these Native American burial mounds,
which is what the Blue Mounds structures are,
and a tiny church surprises me as if it’s just popped up out of the ground.
The idea of building a church on top of these graves
seems to me strange and inappropriate.

“What do you think of this place?”

I nod, let go her hand, say nothing.

“This is where I’ve always wanted to be married.”

I give her a sideways glance, shiver a bit in the sun,
imagine I’ll have to resign myself to this idea
now that we’re officially engaged.

When I drove out of Madison for the last time,
I passed by Blue Mounds and thought of ghosts going on picnics.

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