We left Papa under the tree the old people call Crooked Woman – wrapped in palm leaves, bound with strips of knotted cloth.
The night before I’d shifted rocks from beneath the tree, made space enough for his slight form to lie. I sang as I hefted boulders, old songs Papa taught me when we set nets in the river, as we climbed fig trees, gripping bark with knotted toes, stowing plump fruit in our bags.
I set a basket of best black figs and a comb of honey at his feet. The honey dripped into the dull water as the river rose, as waves licked the rocks and kissed the sands. His body held tight to Crooked Woman for a while, a child reluctant to take his first step.
The river took him at sunset, as the water turned gold as honey, as we sang a last goodbye.