Displaced by the soft white cotton sheet, the warm air pulled into itself before releasing its soapy fragrance. In the smell, which preceded the jolt of recognition when the sheet landed in perfect symmetry, the woman recognised a sharpness in its hard-pressed crease. A crease confirming that its last laundering had been her dead mother’s.
Now she was preparing a bed for another mother; anxious and shortly to arrive to touch her daughter, to count her limbs, seek out her scars and look into her eyes for traces of trauma, pain, uncertainty. The bed-making woman had wanted to prepare that bed for her own mother; look into her eyes and try to smooth traces of trauma, uncertainty, fear; to launder them away. She cried quietly, no tears falling to mar the sheet.
‘I’m never coming back, Mama’ the younger woman said later; having had her limbs counted, her eyes and scars examined. ‘No, I know that.’ the mother acknowledged sadly. In that acknowledgement, her face said, ‘at least my daughter let her limbs be counted, her eyes and scars examined – at least I can see for myself that she’s going to be alright.’ And as she watched her daughter’s gradual relaxation; she knew she was still needed, that she would always be needed. She knew her child.
This should Allison Moorer, Crows album recording of The Stars and I but it’s not on You Tube so have Broken Girl