THE FRIENDLY GHOST
Never my wife, only your mother, and even this only once. Rarely the phrase only child, shameful in most cultures, when he described me, but often my youngest or daughter. He carried me at a party once when I was tired and soon I said we need to leave. A boy whose father leaves is called the man of the house. Yet what happens to a girl is not the woman but we. She and her father, someone could say, live in a gray house on a quiet street. Without her is the oldest meaning of us: my father holds my hand when we walk to the store. When observed from an adult window, anchorless, she and he becomes an almost lovely phrase in its lack of history. Seven years, to summarize, my father and me. Seven years before the phone rang. He answered at his desk. Standing in the hallway I asked who, without turning to me, drained of color, not your mother; but rather the name Wendy.