“I’m not sure what made me look at that exact moment, but I turned toward the house just in time to see my sister do a sort of cannon-ball off the steps of her porch. She cleared the three stone steps with ease, made a perfect two-point landing, and got her stride as she sprinted toward us across the enormous lawn. The noise of wind and hail was very loud, so I could not hear what she was saying, but I could guess: her mouth was shaped in fury, teeth biting lower lip to get enough power into the squeezed, hissed eff sound of “you flake!”, or “you freak!” or something familiar like that. Her face, contorted with effort as it was to get the words out with enough force, was still noticeably beautiful. This is one of my sister’s gifts: that she has a pretty face, even in rage, and this has always been a distraction to me, and it was so, no less than any other time, as she gained ground. I was thinking of this, of how pretty she looked, sprinting toward me and the baby, who I was holding up in the air. And maybe I was smiling a bit, thinking, “she’s so pretty!”, and maybe I said, “pretty!” as my sister got closer, the eff sound clutched in her teeth like a bit. She lunged upward and grabbed the baby, still running.
Standing there with my arms stretched above my head, I was struck with an immediate, profound and irrelevant understanding of football: I had heard an audible snatch! as my sister plucked the baby from my grip, and for a moment I saw the word suspended in a cartoon bubble over my head right where the baby had been.”
First published in dANDelion Vol. 32, #2.