Westport, Massachusetts

Summer was over and I was rearranging the kids’ beds at the house my father left to us, shutting it down after the rental season on the Massachusetts coast, when I saw the headboard of my childhood bed. I knew which one was mine, though these matching single beds are no longer stacked one on top of the other with me, the youngest, always on the top bunk. My headboard is the one defaced by a child’s graffiti. Every night I would take a straightened paper clip from its hiding place under the mattress and add another frame to my awkward storyboard, flashlight clenched between my knees so that I could use both hands to score a mark deeply into the wood. Now I traced the story of my childhood on the wood like Braille beneath my fingers.

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