My Brother’s Transfiguration as a Welsh God

Four days after my brother’s funeral, I drove south in rain and dense fog to Flowery Branch, Georgia to sign insurance papers. Near the expanse of the parking lot a great green field, where, suddenly, the clatter of two Canada Geese. Later, near Elachee, on the way to North Carolina I saw four white-tailed deer gathered in the growing dusk near a copse of trees – that late afternoon sun extending their shadows into the horizon.

Nearing home, a flock of wild turkeys; I count quickly, eight or nine, as they spread across the pasture of the abandoned farm.

What I make of this in retrospect: My brother, named for our maternal grandfather, a name already held in place by generations of hard scrabbling; my brother, as gone from this world as the archaic deity whose name he bore, made full by research – Gwynn, god of the hunt, ruler of the underworld, king of elves and master of three mystical hounds.

As though summoned by some enchantment I cannot see – geese, deer, and turkeys appear – as though to say: We know the reason for your journey; be at peace; the departed will not walk this world in sorrow again. This is your journey as well, traveler, through a landscape beautiful beyond imagining, clothes dampened with tears.