crossed the room and went out the open door. "Am
I talking too much?" Glad said.
"It's all right."
The flower's pungent delicate flavor was gone--I'd
heard of such things, a smell or taste attached to a deep memory,
so either one triggered the other--
"You like her? I do."
"I like her," I said.
"Where shall I put this?"
In the doorway Beu;ah held out a blackberry
pie with crisscrossed stripes of crust. Had she baked it on purpose,
all day been planning to stop by?
Again I remembered the soft richness of her
voice—over drinks we’d spoken quietly and intimately like old friends
as Glad made supper in the kitchen and I’d sensed the blue flower’s
“I’ll take that,” Glad said, jumping up.
“I’ll serve it
the coffee and ice cream.”
He took the pie from Beulah and hurried from
“Betty gave me this for you,” Beulah said,
“I’d forgotten. Until we started talking about Jim. Jack asked her
to send it along.”
She pulled an 8 x 10 black and white photo
from a manila envelope and handed it to me.
“It’s Web Olson,” Beulah said.
Squinting, I removed the mustache, and focused
on the stubby nose, the strong jaw, serious thin-lipped mouth, the
sandy crewcut and wide forehead, the cool killer’s icy blue eyes,
the slightly turned ears.
Clean-cut, handsome, deadly. The perfect Marine.
In the sunlit square my father, Lieutenant
Richard Lambert, fell below the library tower in Texas, crouching
over Lisa Barlow, 13.
I turned the photo over.