Among the Weeds
Beneath the bobbing heads of the Queen Anne's lace, my four-year-old daughter digs a grave for her doll. To her, she's a pirate burying treasure.
In the kitchen, my partner gives me a kiss and a cup of coffee.
"I told her Lola went to live on a farm," I say. It's not a lie, exactly. Before finally losing the war to the weeds, we harvested a handful of limp snap peas, a few rubbery zucchini.
My partner takes my hand in hers. She rubs her thumb against my skin, the way I often scratched behind Lola's ears. I shiver.
"You need to tell her." About what happened yesterday. I was still picking oatmeal out of my hair when I strapped my sulky four-year old into her car seat. Behind the wheel, I stomped on the accelerator. I can still hear--still feel--the wet crunch of the wheels as the car jerked backwards. Smeared across the cement was something black and white and red all over.
Last night, my partner scraped kitten off the garage floor. I dug the grave near a tomato plant that dried out before it ever bore fruit.
"I won't," I say, wrenching my hand away. Coffee spills everywhere.
"You need to tell her before she finds out on her own," she says. She mops up my mess with a dish towel.
Through the window, I watch my daughter, now hunting for treasure in the loose soil of the vegetable garden, and hold my breath.