Flannel jammies. Navy with tiny pink flowers. Hand-sewn by my mom so we could sleep free of non-flammable toxicity while dreaming.
My dad's stories: the farm, the air force, anything in his caramely deep voice. His smile shined through the dark from the corner where he sat in the hand-painted blue chair that my parents stole from a bar in Red Lake Falls.
In the darkness alone, partial dreamland. Wondering if this is real. When will I wake up? Why hasn't the world stopped? Was it all a dream?
My mom stumbles along, one foot in front of the other. Barely upright. Trying not to die herself of grief. Each morning she prepares chocolate Cream of Wheat for Carrie and me before school.
Bouncing along the green vinyl seats in our yellow Bluebird bus. Gus at the wheel. French-braiding Carrie's hair as we rolled through the countryside to Douglas Elementary. Trying my best to put things back in order.