There's a Polaroid photo I have of my mother from 1958. She is wearing pedal pushers and saddle shoes, has a tight perm and a big grin. Behind her is a statue of a big blue ox. The picture was taken in St. Ignace, Michigan, by Castle Rock Lookout, near the Canadian border – Paul Bunyon Country.
It is said the giant lumberjack and his big blue companion, Babe, dug the Great Lakes, so the ox would have a sufficiently sized watering hole. My mother is 15 in the photo. It is probably the last family vacation with her parents and two younger brothers.
I gaze at the picture of the young girl looking so tiny next to the ox; I see her smile and I know her whole world will soon change.
a drop of warm milk
on her bent wrist –