Sastruga / Tawdry

lavender_bunchWith bated gait, he moved slowly down the rows, a bunch of hastily tied stalks of lavender clutched in his right hand. Is it here? he thought aloud, straining his eyes to find the marker among the masses of sastrugi: piled high, their looming, leering shadows swayed in the lamplight.  He was disappointed that the groundskeepers hadn’t cleared up these monolithic piles of snow, but he couldn’t blame them — it was New Year’s Eve after all. He could hear the cracks and booms of fireworks exploding all the way on the East, and felt momentarily envious that everywhere across the city, women in tawdry sequined dresses were clutching glasses of champagne and huddling closely together in large circles while their escorts — men in their leather work loafers and novelty paper hats with 2015s dashed across them in glittering metallics — barked drunken jokes at each other. Shaking his head, he ambled along, turning left at the obelisk, reciting the names he’d memorized of people he would never meet. Fitzgerald, Clark, Hernandez, Miller: surname after surname he shuffled on until finally, he stopped. There — immortalized in bronze and marble, her name shined dully at his feet in the faint, tarnished glow of the city lights. I found you he said, dropping the lavender. I found you. 

— Cindy Capleton

sastruga [sas-truh-guh, sah-struh-, sa-stroo-, sah-] noun, plural sastrugi. 1.Usually, sastrugi. ridges of snow formed on a snowfield by the action of the wind

tawdry (adjective) \TAW-dree\ : cheap and showy

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