Mexican music blasts over the driving range loudspeakers. A tiny brown and white pup nibbles my pudgy five-year-old fingers. Hello, new best friend Amigo.
The sky is yellow green. Wind quivers. Dark clouds in the distance. Tornados nearby. Grandpa holds my little hand and squeezes. I’ll be OK.
I push and groan. My body splits in two. He’s on my belly. Quiet breath. Then he’s in my arms. I’m a mother.
Hauling frozen firewood from the porch. Zero degrees. Rabid wind. Shoulders tight against the cold. Load the stove. Orange flames flare.
When heartache is too much to bear, I take my grief for a walk and visit the cairn under the red oak tree. We buried Vic’s ashes there.
Vic and I embrace in the kitchen. I must remember this, I think. I know what it’s like to be without these hugs. Then I wake up.
Another cold night. Dark and lonely. Then out the west window, Venus, Mars, and the Moon smile hello.
March 7. Vic’s birthday. I miss him still. We met as kids and dared to love. No small thing.
The wood stove glows amber at midnight. Bitter outside. Hot hearthstone and dry maple inside. Grateful to be alive.