Thursday, November 20, 2008


The water ripples and gathers strength. The sky takes the narrowing shape and negative coloration of the inside of a coffin. The wrenching of wind makes everything smell earthy and corpseish. The porch door slams a fast rhythm as the roof is torn off.

It's a miracle that we're as safe as we are, sitting here in the car, a handful of yards down the long driveway, with the windows open a crack, watching this happen.

I'm eating a peanut butter and honey sandwich in the passenger seat. Mom uses one hand to hold her cell phone and one hand to move the steering wheel right and left, even though we're parked. She's talking to her mom.

"Guess this means we'll be coming back to live with you."


"Yup, again"


"He's not...he's been gone. It's just the two of us."


"I don't know where.


"She. She."


"A while."


"She. I."


"What could I have done? It was out of my hands."


"What can I say?"


"I haven't heard."

I can hear grandma's voice getting louder and rougher, but her words are still too tinny for me to actually decipher.

The sky hasn't gotten any paler. The branches on the trees that are still standing—they're so empty of leaves you'd think it's mid-November—are moving so fast that they could splinter at any second. The house and yard are asunder and still under threat. A small bird, stunned-dizzy, drops from the sky and lands just in front of the hood of the car.

I feel sure that the worst has past.

Mom keeps keeps taking, responding in the same voice she used when I still needed lullabies to go to sleep.

What scares me most is that we're both just sitting here, totally unafraid.

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