How different things must have looked to my mother than they did to me. There I am in the black-and-white photo the summer the baby died. I’m seven, trying out my pogo stick with the two new girls next door. We’re laughing, and I’m shouting something to my brother, who wants his turn. And there’s Dad, standing near the station wagon, staring at the grass. She must have stood far back, under the pear tree, focusing, trying to fit us in.
Copyright © 2017 Patricia Hooper. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Spring 2017.