Mama let us wander. I remember dizzily getting up from a good roll and not seeing anyone I knew and the world suddenly stopping spinning, as everything became too still. I ran toward a crowd of people who were listening to a band.
I was little enough to be waist-high to most adults.
I saw a striped Lacoste polo dress. Mama! Security and peace as I slid my hand into hers, horror and dismay as I turned the smooth and straight-fingered hand in mine and looked up into a face that was not my mother’s.
Then a familiar, “Mary! Over here!”
Mama came up behind me. She had watched my mistake, letting me become aware of my place in the world, and her cool crooked fingers closed around my hand.