and so yesterday
i tried to push the snow off the walkway
with a broom and we got into the car
and saw each other’s breath inside it
and drove to the courthouse.
leanne hates me.
she hates that i’m so bad at things.
while i bring home pomelos for her from the grocery store
and tickle her back in the middle of the night
and remember to always get her red lentils at the
i forget our anniversary.
or don’t think about her birthday until the afternoon of.
i forget everything i’m supposed to remember.
but i just realized that three weeks ago i forgot
the three-year mark of leanne getting cancer.
totally slipped my mind.
just another day.
a couple days after, the photographer who came when leanne was sick
showed up again.
i love this shot particularly:
us below the former versions of us.
how are you physically? mentally? the judge asks….judge judith,
excellent, i say, and…..pretty good.
and what do you think makes you a good big sister, she asks lydia.
i like gymnastics, lydia says.
and then asks leanne something about adopting rena
and leanne tears up.
i don’t remember what she says,
i just remember the leanne in the chair
at the PETscan facility, slumped,
with the cancer everywhere.
and the leanne in the chair now,
crying and happy and ready to hear
that rena is ours forever.
magistrate judith smiles and says
we have another daughter
three years after we had one taken away
and we hug and shake hands and take a picture
and walk out.
later, after beignets and buttermilk biscuits
with rhubarb jam and chicory coffee
and a waitress who just happened to be adopted,
we go to the denver mint….
just one wafer-thin mint…
and see money being made
and think about making value
and copper and zinc and steel
and dies and scrap and conveyor belts
and go to the gift shop
because lydia is collecting the state quarters
and i see a commemorative silver spoon that i would’ve bought as a child,
but instead i want a sacajawea dollar now,
and my father buys it,
and gives it to me,
and later i will give it
the boat launcher,
the bird come back.