Last night the animals beneath her window crept out of hiding to comb the dirt from each other's fur. Rising to watch, she discovered the lilacs lit from below by ivory vinca. The street on the other side of the trees continued to contain its passing cars; tenderly her teeth let her tongue rest against their curving backs. Tonight when she lies in bed again, she will remember the one kind thing her grown daughter said today after weeks of scrutiny, and the moment at work just now, when a stack of Day-Glo folders cascaded over her desk, thrilling the white cubicle with their descent.
Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. Copyright © 2002 by Erica Funkhouser. All rights reserved.