whose shoulder will she hide behind when the wicked witch of the west is on the screen?just minutes before she had left the room. the room was happy enough, but the people were not. they all had sad hearts. she thought she could be grown-up, walk right in and be brave. she could not. she could tell that it wasn't him as soon as she glimpsed his pale skin. she could walk no further. she leaves. better to remember him the last day she saw him, his wife combing his hair, and sitting on the porch talking. like always.
who will let her eat fudgesicles for dinner?
under the tent she waits. family sobs. she cannot. through the prayers, the songs, the military rifles, she stands and stares at her grandmother, who is shaking with grief. she still thinks she is dreaming. the presentation of the flag, "from a grateful nation." she thinks they should have said, "from a grateful family." memories, too many to count, replay in her mind.
who would ever buy her another pony?
back at the house there is a picnic. not unlike many she has attended here. but it is different. everyone is different. changed. forever. the usual air of joy is sprinkled with moments of solemn reflections, tears. it is a different concept for her. for all of them.
who is going to let her ride in the back of the truck?
she leaves. back to her life. her young family. but she is different. grown-up some more. she doesn't like it. she leaves behind a grandmother. a grandmother that is sleeping alone tonight. and for many nights to come. she doesn't like it. she is crying as she writes this. it is finally time.
he will be missed.