This story won first place in Calliope's 18th annual fiction contest, and it is easy to see why. As you read you follow Archer Foley (what a great name) from a bar where he has a conversation with a stranger to the cemetery where his wife was buried a year ago and where he learns the name of that stranger. The cemetery manager says that this man, Henry, visits the cemetery every day, “cleans away any debris from his wife's grave, then busies himself cleaning markers, raking leaves and grass, and throwing away dead flowers,” though he isn't employed by the cemetery. Not only does Henry fulfill the duties that a caretaker might have, but it turns out that he also keeps track of graves that don't get visited.
It is then revealed that Henry finds the families of those whose graves are un-visited and finds a way to heal them by getting them back to the cemetery. So Archer's chance encounter with him at the bar turns out not to be chance at all. And suddenly Archer is on a mission not only to reconnect with his own children, but also to reunite Henry's family. Though he had been drinking double scotchs at a bar (and then driving) only a few hours ago, now his life has a purpose. The cemetery manager sees what Archer is about to go do, and says that it isn't easy work being a caretaker like Henry. And Archer responds that, “there isn't a better paying job on the planet.”
This quick plot rundown doesn't do the story any justice, and if you've got a second I'd say to read it (online at calliopewriters.org). The one part that irks me is that Kentner lets Archer get in a car and drive after spending an undisclosed amount of time drinking at a bar. Other than that it is a really moving piece.