Hostile chuckles greet his mother’s black dress and heels. He squawks: “Stop laughing or I’ll turn you all into toads!”
“He doesn’t mean it,” she says, pushing the bottle to her lips. “He really does love us.” I push the ice pack against my swollen eyes.
Vacation time, but money is short. Set the lawn chair in kid’s sandbox, grab sunglasses and a beer. Ignore wife-kids-phone. I’m in Tahiti.
The cigarette burn scars on his arm screamed “I hate you, Dad!” The tears on his cheeks as he touched the casket offered a rebuttal.
My daughter burrowed under the covers to retrieve her yellow koala, all sleepy magnanimity. “Banana said you get to hold him first today.”
The orange sign says don’t go in, but momma knows better. We make our beds and wake to a cop in the morning. Momma cries and we leave again.