• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 12
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I Wear

I wear everyone and everything now.

After the kids go to bed, I put on my husband’s old blue jacket. The suede patches on the elbows are soft, like his eyes. The coat hugs me, kisses my cheek, and catches tears. Peter says carry on.

Strapped to my legs, Josh’s big yellow goalie pads hold me in place. I have a new blue game to learn: how to defend the hockey net against a nine-year-old’s practice pucks, an angry boy yelling that I’ll never be who he lost.

I wiggle into my baby girl’s sunny stripy dress. To be like her. Cheerful and chatty and four, she brings me bouquets of dandelions and blue sky picked in the backyard.

I wear new responsibilities. On my arms are sprouts of things I haven’t done before—unplugging a toilet, climbing a shaky ladder, getting the car fixed—and in my head prickly orange worries. They don’t wash away in the shower or comb out of my hair, and only grow thicker, like weeds, when I cut them down.