Umber (18)

March 13, 2012 § 3 Comments

Partly obscured by a tangled clump of paper doll clothes was another picture of Oleander’s mother.  She was thinner and younger in this photo.  She appeared to be sixteen, maybe seventeen.  She stood between two older girls who I guessed were her sisters.  They were dressed in white, and their hands were linked.  The girl on the left wore a cocky, worldly expression on her face, and a broad-brimmed hat of translucent material.  The one on the right looked as if she was afraid of the photographer.  Vera, in the middle, appeared naively hopeful and anxious at the same time, as if she were staring into her future and thought maybe she could see trouble.  Behind Vera and her sisters, a middle-aged man with a graying beard and no teeth sat imperiously astride a workhorse.  A young boy with a battered hat and no shoes stood in the grass.

“Why do you look so worried, Vera?” I wondered aloud.

“Because my father doesn’t know what I’m about to do,” she replied.

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