We watch the station wagon back out of the driveway.
Mom waving through the open window before slowly pulling away.
It’s just a few errands.
But Mark is inconsolable.
Tries to follow her.
Chris sweeps him up.
But he squirms with all of his might and wins the fight.
Just as Mom drives out of sight.
He falls to his knees and on to all fours.
Then the youngest of five laments the loss.
By slamming his soft head on the hard blacktop.
Speechless and helpless, I run to the sidewalk and look down the street.
Hoping Mom will somehow see me and circle back to the unhappy scene.
But I watch the wagon’s taillights disappear as Mom turns the corner.
So I turn back toward the house and Mark, in Chris’s arms.
His forehead swollen, bleeding and pockmarked from the pavement.
His tears subsiding, but his eyes still hopeless.
And I feel helpless.