By Adrian Croke

To throw everything out, old clothes, baby blankets, husbands, is an addiction just like any other. Like picking up the salt shaker too many times in one meal. An expensive house, a new dog, and a hand-made chandelier-abalone and fish bone-really, they’re just pretty dead things. The drive home under oak trees that twist and gnarl over the ground, so heavy they cannot grow up but only out. If my mother knew metaphors, that’d be her only one. My past-a suburban recreation: my family of two-the Carebears bike, the woods, my dad. She took me away, and I had to consolidate. your room’s not going to be as big so I made two piles-what I was willing to part with, and what I could not. She threw them both away.Did my mother ever make love, and after, cry to herself? She won’t even admit to an accent. When she swears she never wants to see me again, she doesn’t cry. Never kept a home, never kept a man. She’ll rid herself of a million things, like, say, my birth certificate, but not a single tear.