Blind Mother, Crippled Wife

Illustration by Alessandro Gottardo

Amy says later she thought it was the kind of screen door that slams shut as soon as you let go instead of the kind that eases closed behind you, pneumatic tension gently releasing for five, six seconds after you’ve walked through the door. It opens from the living room onto the back porch, where a winding wooden staircase leads to the banks of the rushing Clackamas River over which Amy’s sister and her family have rented a house for the week. When I see Beatrice bolt between her legs and out the door, I think of the rushing river and imagine the likelihood of us ever being able to retrieve her limp and lifeless body sopping wet from miles downstream.

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