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Sometimes, quite by accident, I capture an unusual image. I took this photograph of a Canada goose and her chicks in the Laurel Hill Cemetery in St. Louis as I was making my way home from an unexciting photo expedition by the rivers a week or so ago.

I was in a gloomy mood and felt like I'd been wasting my time. There seemed little of interest and I wasn't looking for these birds. Then, from behind a rise, they appeared. Ordinary Canada geese, very common here. But they were walking over a very freshly dug grave. It was strewn with flowers and other colorful objects and there wasn't even a stone marker that I could see.

The geese were completely unconcerned, of course, with these signs of human loss. The chicks were pecking at the freshly turned earth, judging from the grass hanging from the adult's mouth, so had the big bird.

What do you focus on when you look at this picture? The camera chose the goose, but my eye drifts to the background and what that means. But then I catch the goose's eye and the image feels very much alive again. Such is the paradox.

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