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erate with my brain, or the urgent lead of Mother’s hand. She screams my brother’s name, to bring him out of whatever recess of the house he’s hiding in. He appears in the parlor, misty-eyed and otherwise expressionless. He stares at Mother and I, and then at Father, who’s struggling to stand against the rigor of drunken disproportion. Mother calls to my brother again, and extends another hand to take his. Mother guides us out the back door, down the porch steps, and I can hear Father stumbling in pursuit with toiled groans and heavy feet. Mother precedes us downhill, toward the big muddy brown. She’s kicked off her flimsy shoes, so’s to move faster and with less inhibition. I wonder why she’s taking us to the water when the garage is uphill. I run as fast as my legs allow. We mangle the garden with our feet. After all, it’s Father’s pride and joy, and Mother doesn’t care anymore. I swerve to avoid the holly shrub, but in my loping cadence, I see Mother does not. She jumps and clears the hedge. In this hurried imminence, I can’t give much attention to how incredible it is. It seems almost supernatural, the way her petite body gives so much to the air, and eludes the hedge entirely. 14

The Metric Issue 08 - Literary Magazine  
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