Gold Star

by Beth Cato

The rain had stopped early in the morning, leaving the wide green lawn so spongy that each step tried to suck her heels into the earth. John had loved mornings like this – crisp and bright with potential. She stroked her son’s chubby hand as they walked together and she took in the surreal scene - the unfurled flags, the somber men in uniform, John’s mother hysterically sobbing, the jeering protesters somewhere distant. They neared the flag-draped casket, and a man gestured towards their seats at the front. Too young to understand, the boy whispered, “It’s so pretty, Mommy.” All she could do was squeeze his hand and nod.


Beth Cato is from Hanford, California, but now resides in the wastelands of Arizona with her husband and son. More of her writing can be found here.