The white patches on our Green look like frost, but it is spring. The small white islands are courtesy of our neighbor. He brushes his dog out there, a dying Dalmatian.
My mother would put my head in her warm lap and work through my long hair with the steel comb, stroke after stroke after stroke. When she finished, I would touch my head against my little brother’s blond curls, and welcome back the bloodsuckers, my mother’s touch.
My dad’s life-long hobby was the stars. He studied their spectrum and chemical compositions, obsessed with the possibility of stars where we could live. Here never enough.
We passed each other on the escalators. I was going up. She down. She wore large dark sunglasses and a fleece navy hoodie. She looked thirtyish, but I suspected she wasn’t even twenty. Her dull hair, fallen-in face, and knees sharp as elbows jumped out. Gave me the same jolt as toilet-water splashing on my face.
I hand-sew tiny clothes for my daughter’s dolls, the tooth fairy too. For hours and hours in the evenings I sew. My hands a girl’s again, working the needle in and out. I remember breaking the thread with my girl teeth. My eyes sharper back then too. What did I ever make? Aprons? Handkerchiefs? I sew and sew, try to put it all together.