story by ELIZABETH GONZALEZ
Our spring picnics came early. One morning after months in the house I would open the front door and smell dirt, and by noon we would be at a picnic table by the pond, the two of you shivering in your spring coats, wind tugging at the Styrofoam cups until we could get the cocoa in them. The dirt on the island was powdery and was attracted to the cups by static—if they got away, which they sometimes did, they were unusable.
You were babies then. I miss you already, even while you are asleep in my bed with the white morning light poured over you like protection. Love is an arrow.
It moved across the water without moving, never even flapped its wings, which were big as a car, but just cruised swiftly around the pond, silently pacing its shadow over the water. It was out of scale, out of place in this dinky municipal park with its lawn sprinkler fountain and weeping willows and wedding photo gazebos, the pond choked with bloated, overgrown carp.
After my mother died, I drove her wheelchair out of the hospital. As I backed it up to the van, I caught people inside staring out at me. Did they pity me? I wanted to explain that they were mistaken. This is not mine. My father chained the chair to the lift and pushed the lever. Rising from the curb, my back to the van, I felt what she must have felt: helpless. On display.
To continue reading click: here.