Thursday, March 30

You can see the smoke from Stage Fort Park. Clouds of smoke from behind the hospital. He died in Florida, his first vacation in twelve years. It is hard to tell at first where the smoke is from. Lanesville? Annisquam? He had come from seeing the Red Sox in spring training. Driving down the Boulevard and up Centennial the smoke looks like the other clouds. Hit by a car. Frank from Gloucester isn't calling any shows for a week to show his respect.

The rotary is too low, can't see the smoke. Passing Addison Gilbert I see it. Up to Wheeler's Point. They brought the World Series trophy to see him at the resturant. Uncle Moe's. Down the streets to the left there smoke between the houses but no fire. No engines. Tommy Moses, local softball legend. Turn around, up Cocaine Lane. The smoke is closer to the water. Down Cherry Street. Toward the rotary. Up over the bridge. At the resturant he called me beautiful, got me coffee. He knew how much I liked coffee. Turn around at exit twelve. Him noting Abigail getting bigger. Back up over the bridge.

There is fire, open flames on Pole's Hill.

Monday, March 27

After they tore down his house we spent our time at an old fish shack down at the cove. Fish freezers waist-high covered the floor, furniture on top, the smell of old bait in the air and clinging to me I'm sure but I don't remember that or even know that I noticed. A space heater in the winter. Low light. The sound of old trucks on dirt roads. Wind and rain and the tide going in and out. Things were going downhill and we couldn't stop them.

Wednesday, March 22


I bought roses with Gerrit on Monday. He makes me buy flowers. He makes faces at Abigail. He coos and beeps. He says people think he is her grandfather. He beeps. I am missing a father. He coos.

They put vaseline in her hair. They make her sit. They make her drink a horrible drink. She can't find his phone number.

I am cold. I have avocado to eat and dill havarti. Abigail is singing upstairs, sailing to Botony Bay. I am missing a grandfather. I don't want to do anything. I have bills to pay.

We watch the trash truck come. Our barrel is only half full. I don't believe them when they say this is spring.

The heat comes on. For the first time in years she is at appointments without me. They put vaseline in her hair without even asking. It won't come out for days. They make her sit still. Tomorrow I won't be there when they tell her what it means. I'll be getting pictures of the baby in my belly. I can't tell her they didn't hurt her. Can't help her remember my name. I can't tell them when she counts her children four. Can't tell them when I do the same.

Friday, March 10

She doesn't like the picture of herself.

She was in an argument. Someone was yelling at her. She decided to drive away.

In Hamilton she came across a work horse. A big horse, tan, with black hair. Its tail was thirty feet long. It reared, its hooves right next to her. Its back was dappled. It jumped over her. It was just inches away.

It is probaby still there.

What is the name of the baby she gets pictures of? She asked that of them, that they name him that. She asked that they name him Richard.

At the art store she has two canvases, fifteen inches by thirty inches. She needs to pay for a tube of white paint she took another day. She has some canvas she needs to have stretched. Not here, the canvas is at home.

She has a wallet full of quarters. She takes out her bills and leaves them on the counter. She takes the quarters out and hands them to the man. Four, five dollars. Another handfull. Seven, eight dollars. One more. Thirteen dollars in quarters. Sixteen dollars in bills.

He'll wait until next time, he says. I pay for the rest. It's easier to remember that way.

At the hardware store she says she wants to spend a thousand dollars today. She tells the story of the man who is always convulsing. The story of the war over trash can covers. She shows me a rock in the shape of a bird. A rock that is a heart.

We drink iced coffee. She offers me her cook books. We drive around the coast. Ah, aquamarine. She tells the story of the sixteen-foot seal she found on the rocks. Dead. She didn't smell it because the wind was the other way. Its nails were so long.

At home she has a picture of the baby hanging next to the picture of a baby from a frame. The frame dimensions written on his chest. She has a new painting. A tree of life. A new tree of life.

Wednesday, March 8

Yesterday clouds crouched over the city like tigers ready to pounce. Today the air is warmer and the sky is blue. This morning with a bad start, sick stomach and tired eyes, overheard conversations and a tumble down the front steps.

Trying to fill the day with knitting and cleaning. Trying to make that enough. Sweaters drying on the deck, dishes waiting in the sink. Sit on sandy steps. Watch trucks take trash.

Hope for a better afternoon. Hope it is better before noon. Hope for better.

Sunday, March 5

Beehive hut, Dingle.
Originally uploaded by Mandy K.
They say as she grew older she shrank into a shadow of the people around her.

Friday, March 3

Sand everywhere. Errands run, baby asleep unexpectedly and nothing to do about it but drive. Eighteen-wheeler blocking rotary traffic. Policemen and DPW blocking Washington.

Sand everywhere.

Men in expensive cars try to cut me off. Gesture when I don't yield. I don't yield. I won't yield.

Seven messages on the answering machine. Amanda? Amanda? I don't know what to do. Hang up. Amanda? Hello? Seven messages in ten minutes. I am not going home.

All morning spent paying bills. Opening mail. Budgeting and planning. All morning. Peanut butter on my shirt, out of two-cent stamps, tired in my head. Sand everywhere and I'm not going home. Men in expensive cars trying to cut me off but I keep driving.