Today as I’ve done hundreds, probably thousands of times, I washed blood down the drain.
But today it was not my own blood that swirled and disappeared.
Today it was the blood of my oldest son
which stained a gray cotton vest I’ve never seen before.
A vest just like the red one his younger brother recently wore
to his first high school dance.
With complete ignorance of my competence in such matters, my oldest son said “Mom please, nothing can happen to this vest. This vest belonged to my brother.” By brother he did not mean a blood relation. By brother he was speaking of his good friend whose young life ended abruptly and violently last year, whose blood poured down a drain in a convenience store parking lot.
“Mom, this vest is important to me, please take it to the dry cleaner” he implored, not yet knowing that like every other woman, I am an expert at making blood disappear.