Henry’s Bones

Here lies Henry Clerval – or so we believe, as his grave remains unmarked.

He certainly lies somewhere under this earth, still as foreign to it as his death was to this town.

Such insufficient markings cannot reflect the spectacle of it all, but as one stands on the spot where the man now lies, the feelings and memories of the past reanimate.

His lifeless form discarded on the beach is under our feet.

Our wavering certainty in the guilt of his friend still clouds our minds.

The solemnity of his burial wets our eyes and makes us reach for the hands of our companions. 

How can it be that we know so little of him – save for his name and his death – and still are so affected by what became of him?

Perhaps it is the anger that calls us back here, towards his companion who may have murdered him, and then became mad with grief and left him to wither among our dead.

More likely, the memory of this fallen man stirs in us some appreciation for the order of things. In our struggle to determine the details of his death, we examined closely the nature of humanity, what could drive one to so malign another, and decided that we were glad that this event marked an extreme that we will probably never witness again.

And so, at this conclusion, we depart from him, the only Swiss bones in a cemetery filled with Irish skeletons, and return to life.

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