Nothing Is Lost
She would emerge from nightmares, inch by inch, in the kitchen. Perched on a wooden chair, she hugs her knees. She is five, wearing a flannel gown down to her ankles, with blue pistols scattered over it, for killing mice at night, her brother said. The window lights up like an altar. With her eyes half closed, she looks at the particles of dust turning inside the light, landing on the floor, painted warm chestnut, as Mother insisted. The coal stove still unlit, she hears the breathing of the house, its sunlit silence rising and falling, a fly stirring, brushing its wings, buzzing out of the dark corner. I see her making room among the shadows, and remember: nothing is lost until we miss it.