I have my mother’s account of the night she left my sister and Newborn Me with a babysitter to go case the secretary’s garage apartment.
Where my father’s old Rambler was parked.
As she’d known it would be.
My mother said she’d intended merely to drive by, to substantiate or dispel suspicions, but she found herself enraged, and ablaze with postpartum hormones, she almost set fire to this Other Woman’s rickety stairs. She would not stop pounding on the door until my father showed his face.
When at last he appeared, “Go home” was what he had the nerve to tell her.
The end of my mother’s tale: By sunrise she had his old beat-up black trunk packed and waiting for him in the front yard. She kept the kids and the house.
I’ve always imagined a too-sunny start to that day.
A rectangular patch of St. Augustine already beginning to flatten.
The clunky brass rotary sprinkler at the end of the garden hose, its three brass arms slinging water at the footlocker again and again and again.