Winter 1986 • Vol. VIII No. 1 FictionJanuary 1, 1986 |

Driving Back from the Funeral

Driving back from the funeral in Harrisburg, we took a route which cut through coal-mining country. Snow was forecast in the west, and as we started into the hills we saw snow in the fields. As we climbed, the snow grew deeper, and after a while it crept out of the fields onto the shoulders of the road. Where the road was in shadow, there were patches of ice. We passed through no villages or towns. With the romanticism of a city person, I was looking for the rural picturesque, the neat field, the pleasing demarcation of meadow and woods. The road was straight and followed the top of the ridge. Fields sloped away on either side. From time to time the slope extended so far down that even if I leaned my cheek against the side window I couldn't see the bottom, only the slope rising on the far side. I surveyed the landscape for a farmhouse set just so within the white rectangles of the farmyard. I was looking for some manmade construction—shed, barn, silo—the comforting evidence o

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