I'm sorry, Mom The squirrel got the bowl of nuts. I know you told me to watch. To keep watch. But how can it be the puppy with the black tips has turned all grey? How can it be? She smelled like milk, now she smells like vet and clean and dead. And the brothers, they were toothy and twelve and now, somehow, they're men, Mom? And me? What about me? How can it be these legs of mine sprouted long ago, and there are muscles now, beneath the round? So what I'm saying is, I must have looked away Missed a moment (or was it 16 years?) And this is why the squirrel has chewed this tea-stained memory.
I'll say I looked away, since even that feels nicer than admitting it all happened, that the squirrel stole and years stole more, all while I was watching.