We take a family photo.
Dad, older sister Nancy, and I try to form a circle, lying on the back lawn, a labyrinth of hands and history.
The top of the circle is missing. Missing pieces. We need completion.
Nancy brings out a derelict mannequin she filched years ago. Here’s Mother.
Mother’s smile holds slyness, verve.
She’s calling us nicknames, Nicky, Nan. Speaking that foreign word. Love. She’s not crying and listening to Tchaikovsky. She’s not playing hide and seek under trains and in white rooms.
The circle wobbles.
We try again.
Sometimes pieces are just gone.