See Jane

by Kathy Fish

When Jane was greedy, her mother would say she had a little pink pig inside her. All you do is want and take, baby, she said. They moved into a new house when Jane started high school. A bigger one they could all fit into, in a better neighborhood, but Jane liked the old house better. The clapboard with the cave basement and one bathroom and a toilet between her bedroom and the kitchen and that steep staircase that everyone had fallen down, then dreamed of falling down, and that attic the birds could get into and fly, fly down the staircase and into the living room and slam into the walls and that back porch and that garden and that crab apple tree and that incinerator on the block and those morning glories blooming on that back fence and the rhubarb and the hollyhocks and the neighbor girl with braces on her legs who came around collecting for Easter Seals. Once, Jane watched her mother remove her wedding ring with butter. She watched her fix her hat and her lipstick and walk out the door. And later, she watched her father push her mother into the lime green wall and Jane ran and came back, ran and came back, until she grew up and rode a train through the snow to Chicago and drank whiskey sours and gimlets, tipping the glass under a veil she wore over her face.