His hand left a mark on the tent, singed the canvas like a brand. Light shone through the thinned cloth, a halo, a haunting cast upon her. Trucks rumbled on the bridge overhead, windshield wipers slapping rain. She waited.
I’ll watch tomorrow when the men come with saws, shave away your branches, amputate your limbs, prepare you for grinding. I will remember your shade and protection, the glory of your leaves against the sky. I will be here for your passing.
By accident Unintentionally Stepping in with thin-soled shoes Pretending to be a braver person Than I was or had ever been Pretending to be Someone who adopts strangers From foreign countries Apologizing right away For speaking another language Neither of us understood
“It’s not fair that I have to pay after taking care of him all those years.” “Life’s not fair. Isn’t that what he used to say?” “He was looking at you when he said it.” “Pay the people or they’ll tell everyone.”
The wagon was so small, my mother assembled it on the kitchen table, holding the bolts in her mouth like stubby cigarettes, she built it to last but it’s gone, buried in the attic with the torn stuffed bear he called Billy.
No, I always go slow down my driveway, then I look to make sure no cars are coming and then back my car into the street unless I see a little boy looking at me, his face framed by my rear window.
Lying on a plastic sheet, the hair on the back of his head worn away from never sitting or standing up, the blanket of Nicaraguan heat making him small, weak, fatigued, he looked in every direction but at me, his new mother.
In the dark desk drawer, she found the last long letter she’d written to dear departed Don, folded finely in fifths, saying sad serious things she hadn’t the heart to say out loud.