Friday, May 11, 2012


I have one foot outside. My hip holds the door open and I stoop to clip the dog's harness to her chain. My eyes follow her out the door, an arc of movement. Something in the cuff of my jeans catches my attention. I don't stand up.

The dark material is coarse under my fingertips. I unfold it. Dandelion seeds cling to me.

I brush them off in a single exhale and they latch onto an unseen breeze, skirting across the concrete step and away from me, born into the air on a whispered wish. They blend into the air. Gone.

Someone says my name. Mama? 

I straighten and step back into the house. Back to making dinner. Back to them. Back to sewing another patch into the parachutes on their backs.

Monday, May 7, 2012

footprints in the sand

I was eighteen when I got the tattoo. It was a premeditated whim but not entirely out of character. I've always liked the idea of something under the surface, hidden from view, with roots even deeper than a layer of skin. Something that won't rub off.

It was a mark with a vaguely defined meaning. Something about walking with someone you love? Or maybe about running really, really fast? Open for interpretation. That the years might alter it -- might pull on it, might stretch it further -- never crossed my mind.

Today, it means this:

Their voices bubble up from the basement. Their bodies burst into the living room. I watch from the sidelines.

They ricochet down the hallway in high heels, in slippers, in slapping bare feet. I'm wearing my bathrobe. 

Their bedroom door slams. The walls muffle their noise. I press my coffee cup to my forehead, to the grooves that are growing there between my brows. I close my eyes.

I imagine the hallway lined with sand. I see their footprints, divots one on top of the other, impossible to follow. Volatile in the wind. Nothing in the rain.

I get down on my knees and cup my hands around the places they've been.