My father and mother, two tiny figures, side by side, facing the clouds that move in from the Atlantic. August, '33. The whole weight of the rain to come, the weight of all that has fallen on their houses gathers for a last onslaught, and yet they hold, side by side, in the eye of memory. What was she wearing, you ask, what did he say to make the riding clouds hold their breath? Our late August afternoons were chilly in America, so I shall drape her throat in a silken scarf above a black dress.
I could give her a rope of genuine pearls as a gift for bearing my father's sons, and let each pearl glow with a child's fire. I could turn her toward you now with a smile so that we might joy in her constancy, I could bury the past in dust rising, dense rain falling, and the absence of sky so that you could turn this page and smile. My father and mother, two tiny figures, side by side, facing the clouds that move in from the Atlantic. They are silent under the whole weight of the rain to come.