When she was still small enough to be led by her older brother,
he took her by the hand, snuck her past their fighting parents
out the kitchen door to the garage where he folded her into
her winter coat, buttoned it, and tugged mittens onto her hands.
As they walked, hand in hand, down the block, she thought herself
a light blue shadow gliding over the snow. He took her to a house
where friends of their parents lived. Light from their dining room
windows fell over the canvas of the yard, and my uncle, seven then,
raised his own ungloved finger to the doorbell. The woman
who answered frowned a little and waved them inside.
Minutes later her husband hushed into his boots and walked
the path of small footprints left in the snow. He veered off
to knock on my grandparents’ front door, letting his eyes follow
the trail to the garage, already hearing the muffled yelling inside.
When his gloved fist thudded against the wood, their fighting stopped.
My grandfather opened the door and the other man stepped inside.