The neighbor girl isn’t eating again. She tapes quarters to her belt to tip the scale and satisfy her stern mother—she thinks of everything.
In the house, voices arc, unnatural lightning. Outside, the dog on point, nose to the screen door; the child holds her breath, counting.
“…enchanted castles, flying faeries & knights in shining armor.” Mother closed the book. “But take all of that with a grain of salt.”
No high heels or mother’s dresses or makeup for her. Dad’s records all the way. She was 4. “A Hard Day’s Night” roused her old soul.
His cheeks burned as the line of boys dwindled. In the outfield, daydreams of ninja skills brought a grin. The baseball fell at his feet.
“You keep leaving. I can’t trust you.” I stared out the window. My mother lowered her newspaper. “Don’t talk to the snow. It isn’t healthy.”