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Schaffer

grip. I don't think he understood. He was so quiet. He lived longer than he should have. I didn't expect to see his name in the papers, even though I looked. He was a little brown child, not American, not news at all. We didn't hear anything else about that kid, not for weeks. There was no reason for us to expect to. Georgie called it a shame and shrugged it off and slid away. The others hadn't been there. But for two weeks the baseball glove sat on one of our shelves by packs of gauze and a box of rubber tubes. Then this teenager wandered into the ward, Junior's eyes and Junior's face stretched out thinner. He looked lost. All of us stared at him and he stared at all of us, over each face, deciding who to go to, who to ask. He came to me. He said, "brother." He said, "baseball" and pointed at his hand. He said other words I couldn't understand and tugged at the chest of his shirt. I need you to see him. He was all alone, surrounded by our fatigues. He was maybe as tall as our shoulders, in tom shorts and a dirty polo shirt. Once he stopped talking, his arms fell at his sides and wouldn't move. I left him there and went to the shelf to get the glove. I thought to wash it first. I don't know why I hadn't washed it before. He waited ten feet from the sink. I kept my back between us as I scrubbed at the leather. I had to scratch with my fingernails to get most of it off. Can you understand? My hands worked beneath the faucet; they slid between the fingers and picked at the stitches. Tell me you can see it. The glove in my hands, and the stained water pooling in its pocket. l!'

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FUGUE#3l

Profile for University of Idaho Library

Fugue 31 - Summer/Fall 2006 (No. 31)  

The Literary Digest of the University of Idaho

Fugue 31 - Summer/Fall 2006 (No. 31)  

The Literary Digest of the University of Idaho