Wild

They were called St. John’s Wort, yellow flowers spiked with pins spilling over the rockery in the Sands’ backyard. We knew that spells lived in the weeds. Hollow bluebell stems bled white milk, and camellia flowers that fell to the lawn were guillotined heads. Sometimes we brewed potions in a scratched red bowl we found…

The Jesus Boat

We discovered one June morning that Mr. Sand had moored a rowboat in his yard under a weeping willow. His three daughters were too bouffant and glowing to play outside anymore, so Linda, Sandy, Jackie, and I became the crew, and shipwrecked our entire before-sixth-grade summer. We named the boat Martha after the last passenger…

Winter, 1970

My safe place was the Laundromat on 45th, the one with a wooden bench between the row of washers and row of dryers. The dryers were only ten cents for ten minutes, and after thirty, the towels smelled like my bedroom before I left home to move in with four strangers. I loved to fold…