She looked out on the creek and measured out the threads like the fates, silk thread in twelve shades of blue. (Is pink blue? Is yellow or purple? She supposed so, she believed in her stories.) The trimmings she saved and cast out on the water like pollen, all the pretty colors. They would sink like barren nymphs for the fish to bump with fleshy lips, float for birds to pluck away and decorate the muddy basket of a nest. She had taught herself abandon, taught herself to understand that they were not minor characters, she and her daughter, but at the center of something flowing through them. This is why they lived by the water (this was why she was so taken by the awkward, foolish doctor, Javier).

It was sad to think of death there. A drowned boy. (Once a dead swan had floated in against her short dock among the lillies. It was not as frightening as it was fantastic, the long white neck trailing through the black water, one mangled wing showing threads of crimson. Bluegills pecked at the ragged wing from below.)

She measured out the threads and onto the short quilting needles, thirty needles at a time. Samantha played music in her room, so loud it floated down upon the water like settling fog. The marsh shone with rainbow feathers of oil. Already the water chestnuts were choking the channel.

Her music so loud it could wake the dead.