The Drowned Boy

My Mother

Just turned two, I play in the sandbox beside my four-year-old brother, my diaper already sodden under its plastic bloomer. I’ve discovered with much pleasure that if I pour sand in my hair, I can scratch it out, which I find ruminative and satisfying.

My mother wears turquoise pedal pushers with a checkered scarf under her chin. Nobody is expected, so she hasn’t applied her face. Pardon her, but she’s exhausted. Who knew parenting two children would be so much more demanding than one? Not as in double-hard, but as in exponentially difficult. She reaches for my red bucket to…