We watch the station wagon back out of the driveway. Mom waves 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. Falling to his knees and then to all fours, the youngest of five laments the loss by slamming his soft head on the hard blacktop.
Shocked by the scene, I race to the street, hoping Mom will see me wave and shift to reverse. But the station wagon turns the corner and disappears from sight.
Back in Chris’s arms, I can see Mark’s forehead is already swollen and bruised. Pockmarked from the pavement. Gravel still clinging to his brow.
Silently, the three of us turn toward the house, motherless and miserable.