I am the first car stopped at a red light.
Two empty carseats behind me, the absence of my children’s singing, crying, makes me uneasy.
I remind myself I am meant to be alone right now.
I stare at the green-shuttered house on the corner, its Tudor-style architecture hidden by overgrown ivy.
And I am thinking of you, old friend, when we talked about her ghost.
How her children must have missed her.
We suspected she haunted the green-shuttered house. Being teenagers, this seemed an easy way to reconcile such an absence.
They said she was found in the closet by her husband. She couldn’t take it any longer.
We wonder what her note said among our talk of hauntings.
I sit at this traffic light now, and I think of the mother in that closet.
This home now — it is something different. It has a new family. A new life.
I am a mother now.
The light turns green.
I blow the pent up air out into the ether and think about my children as I drive away.