We met my mother in a parking lot near her house, my boyfriend and I. The blue spruce we tagged at the farm in November was stuffed in his trunk—tucked among crushed Camel Lights cartons and empty wine bottles. In silence, we placed it in her car—bitter air piercing my lungs. We said nothing of the fact that in November, I didn’t know I would not be welcome home. Nothing about the fight with her boyfriend who would be there on Christmas. I watched as she drove away. Her face in the rearview mirror colder than winter in Maine.
By Rachel Dzengelewski