Mary Claire's Accident
Mary Claire ripped her dress.
Or, more accurately, the chair ripped Mary Claire's dress. Mahogany wood snagged black chiffon, kissed a smooth ruffle... and...
But maybe it is not fair to blame this ruin on the wooden chair. Didn't Lydia want to know, How can a person sing like that? Wasn't she the child moved almost to tears by a song whose story she learned, but whose Italian words she couldn't even understand? Still, I was the one who called out to Mary Claire, "Come, the girls want to meet you."
With one quick movement she came. Sat next to my littlest child. Leaned in. Explained the vagaries of Carmen in gentle words the children could understand, without too much understanding. She came and asked them, "Do you like to sing?" She answered their questions. And, too, she told us how she sang in an opera before ever going to an opera. Mary Claire sat with us, with little girls, and she laughed and she whispered low and she gestured.
No, I am quite sure of it now. Mary Claire came. She came, and in coming, she ripped her dress.
Mary Claire's Dress, in soft pastel, by L.L. Barkat.