It was red. The chronic angers of the house, the heat on the back of dad’s neck, the paint splattered on the driveway when she fell. I was twelve and thought it was blood and that mom would certainly die, but she was stronger than the house. She was stronger than us all. I can’t say what color best describes her. Maybe black, because she was through and through solid. Impermeable really.
Mom: 220 N.E. 4th Street. She occupied every inch of wood and beveled glass, every thing that had life and breath. The tread over each of the twenty-one wooden steps going up and going down was mom. The vertical floral wallpaper and wainscoting was mom. The framed black horse tied up by the blacksmith’s shop in our living room was mom. The bobby pin stuck underneath the drawer where she kept foam hair rollers and a pink Avon brush was mom. The house painted red– mom.