Winning the Bet

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Aki isn’t allowed in Juneau’s graveyard. No dog is. So, we walked the parameter streets. Small stone rectangles reset into the ground mark most of the new graves. Modest marble markers stand at the head of the older ones. Darkened with age, most of these gravestones lean toward the ground. A stone angel prays at the foot of a maple, like it is giving thanks for the fall color.

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Aki delays our progress by checking pee mail left on this unfamiliar ground. One of the messages must have been rude because she sulks as we walk along the waterfront and turn up Main Street. The little dog strains at her lead as I try to photograph a raven preening in a birch tree. The raven looks smug, like it just won a bundle by betting against the Seattle Seahawks. That American football team was winning when we left the house. Three young guys walk toward us from the Viking Bar with booze breath and somber faces. The raven makes a sound that I would find offensive if I’d just lost money betting on the Seahawks.

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