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Tracks

Barbara Lucey

My daughter Nora grew up in the countryside. A farming town where, starting in spring, the machinery rolled down the road at daybreak and rattled back to its barns and sheds as the sun set. She was born in town, the upstairs of a two-family house in the outlying area near the high school. She never knew her father. Not that he wasn’t there, but he was hard to know. And she was wild, like a barn cat keeping to the outdoors with her own agenda, exploring and hunting. Even though she stayed mostly on our property—a flat lawn giving to deep meadow fringed by woods and a swamp—she was often invisible. In the tall grass bent over an insect or hidden in a tree. Her head bobbed up when we called her. She came in for dinner, her overalls smeared with mud, briars and leaves in her hair. School was her torture. An early departure seemed likely. And sure enough, at seventeen she enlisted in the Marines. She had come out of me somehow, my yearnful past.

Barbara Lucey, of Florence, MA, is a writer, editor, and consultant, whose short works of

fiction have been published in journals and anthologies. She is the author of Meet Jimmy

Fox for young readers, with illustrations by Nancy Haver.