Like smoke form the knacker's chimney pours all our lives, our woes, our exhilarations. There is no way to tell you about these children so I won't try. But why don't you tell me about the kids at the ballet academy? Your own among them, face turned to the wall, made to stand on one foot when disobedient?
When Mother is gone to heaven, I will remember her running on a summer's day across a blazing green lawn which looked as though a match struck that green in Tanglewood, Massachusetts, running after a man she is sure is Aaron Copeland. Yes! It is Copeland. "Mr. Copeland," she cried out, catching up with him, "I want you to meet my daughter, Indigo." I am pushing with all my might and main in my wheelchair across the lawn which I ran across at age eight, pushing to roll up to Mr Copeland.
Grow up, Rachel! And accept my sorrow, my limitations, no longer turning your husband into someone who must be paternalistic because you are acting childlike and lashing out at me for what I cannot help.
When we gather at the river, Mother will hold the hem of my garment and say, "I never meant it, Indigo, about being a fifty-year old vegetable, about being stove-up, my Golden Girl." And I will say, "I forgive you, Mother." Because I will forgive what I can never forget. Rach and her two girls will be clapping hands egging grandma on into heaven. "Don't say grandmaw. Never, ever say that, Indigo. And remember not to put your boxing gloves on the shelf, to take the high road which I have not always taken, to step up to the plate."
Rachel will call me in tears and I will know it is all over. Her sugaring is done. Marcelle's handsomeness so different from Anya's will come to me like a splinter, one of glass, piercing. Anya who said at the end of her life when I phoned asking about medications, "We don't give medications" Anya was given morphine shots by our father. But mother? No one. No one comes to the glittering white vacant room which is now fading of everything, even of her, the final point on the horizon. Only the pictures of her two children loom, the dark one and the light. The dark is running after the fair haired one laughing, raising her arms, "Keep good care of me, Indigo!" I finish laughing too. Yes, Ava is busy in the living room choosing the palette of colors for her mother in the home of those who have lost their memory. But I need not pause one single blessed second. Our mother, she will perhaps be united with her woman in heaven. And there know orgasm. She will have her own paintbrush and palette in hand. She will be squinting, a smock on and paintbrush in hand, after stirring up linseed and turpentine. No powder for the knacker's chimney. For there it is on the winter horizon. Like briar-roses. Old roses. Like veins, the trees' branches which look a vibrant black, ebony like squid ink, until you look closer and see they are lively as the spark in her eye, burgundy-bright, the color of loam, and turning soil: the color of trunks and moles, little ones which hide and make homes in tree trunks: she read about these to her two children. It is the color she was married in; Her wedding grown: a velvety musk of autumn satin brown.