Keeper of the Night

Kimberly Willis Holt

Square Fish

Keeper of the Night
A Dutiful Daughter
My mother died praying on her knees. Her rosary beads were still in her hands when we found her. She left no note, said no good-byes, gave no last hugs or kisses. Only the empty bottle of sleeping pills that had rolled under her bed proved that she'd meant to leave.
I found her first. But I didn't know she was dead. I thought she was praying.
That morning, I eased her door shut, tied on her apron, and made breakfast for my little brother and sister. I felt proud to scramble their eggs and butter their toast.
Later I tied blue ribbons in Olivia's hair and dipped the comb into a glass of water before parting Frank's. I had no idea it was the first of many mornings I'd be doing that.
KEEPER OF THE NIGHT. Copyright © 2003 by Kimberly Willis Holt.