by Roberta Nolte
She sat under the sugar maple smoking a cigarette and counting headlights. Her denim jacket wrapped around her stiffly. The shiner on her right eye was nasty purple and black.
Ol’ moon looked down at her through the clouds. She wondered if he took pity on her “situation” or was he smiling at her. She was sure it wasn’t for encouragement.
“That son of a bitch will never hit me again.”
She dragged deeply on the Camel and watched as a car pulled to the shoulder and stopped. The lights blinded her for a bit, but she shook back that blonde shag from her eyes and tossed the butt away. The passenger side of the car opened, so she grabbed her suitcase and went to the car.
There is a mound by the sugar maple. Some notice it, some don’t. It’s not really something one would notice, like a black eye or a ripped jacket. It just appeared one morning and it’s nothing someone would notice in rush hour traffic.
No one has placed a missing persons report for Helena.
The tree knows the secrets. Its leaves dip as if in mourning.
On cloudy nights, the Ol’ Moon drops its smile and weeps through the clouds.