the museum of americana

a literary review

O! Relentlefs Death!—Fiction by Joshua Harding

Deare Mmes. & Mefsrs.,

I am concernd not with Honour nor Glory, for that is the Divine Providence of our Most Deare Lord. I am, however, continually vexd with the distrefsing lack of visitors to my humble tomb beneath this shade. This matter which to me appears of not a little consequence; doubting not that you, the Living, are here disposd to visit & walk about our weatherd stones at your Liberty. For I, who hath no Liberty, it is a matter of importance that deserves serious attention.

Doubtlefs you have arrivd at this storied & ancient burying ground to mingle amoung the stones of my Esteemd neighbours, Mefsrs. Adams, Revere, Hancock, &c. or Mme. Mary “Mother” Goose. To leave trifles, pennies, & pebbles upon their grand markers & take back home with you what I heare called these present days “Selfys” of their places of eternal repose. 

O! Stranger stop & cast an eye to where my neglect’d grave stands, leaning to an oblique angle as if wearie of what the world hath become. Our humble plots now forever framd by “Skyescrapers” & disturbd by the persistant & tumultuous wail of “Automobile Traffick.” You are begd to “Keepe offe the Grafs” & touch not the markers. No one may now lay a Posy upon my grave or pause to ponder the twoscore years but one of my life. No Living soul may come to comfort me. O! Relentlefs Death!

Know, thou, that I am one John Migner who died Jan.y 8th, in the Yeare of our Lord 1782, Æ 39. Resident of Boston who hath bourne witnefs to the Mafsacre of ’70, the Tea Party of ’73, & the savage battle upon Bunker Hill wherein so many of our young Country’s men perishd. I am no hero, I make no pretence to claim the deeds of my neighbours. I beseech thee, Deare Mmes. & Mefsrs., Remember me as you pass by.

I am with very great Esteem Your most humble servant, JM

 

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Joshua Harding is an award-winning novelist, poet, and short story writer. His fiction is featured in Writer’s Digest, QuarterReads, and Acidic Fiction. He’s been a nuclear missile mechanic, an environmental lobbyist, a cemetery restorer, freelance artist, puppet master, set designer, actor, carpenter, scrimshander, mortuary officer, garbage man, you name it. The only thing he’s done longer than any of them is write. He lives in a four-person artists’ colony in the woods north of Chicago. Follow Joshua on his website: https://jharding71.wixsite.com/joshuajharding