Verbs of My Grief

How do you describe the life of a child you never knew?

Unfold. Shake. An ant falls to the hot concrete. Fold. Place on the dog-chewed arm of the Adirondack chair. Unfold another. Shake. Two ants. Fold again. Add it to the stack.

I have to repeat it exactly 42 times, and I have to be religious about it. There’s no good way to get ants out of a pile of hand-me-down…