The girls dance. Individually. Silently. Whisper their music. M’s movements are bold, big, she counts as she moves. J starts still, then graceful. Watches her reflection in the patio doors as she leaps with limbs wide. Starfish. P runs back and forth, leaping, skipping across the room. Soon she is humming “Favourite Things’ and spinning in complicated circles. She doesn’t want to stop.

We eat creamy broccoli soup on the back porch, slice vegetables in silver bowls. Sing the doxology, holding hands in the shade of banana trees.

When J practices her spelling words,she covers her paper with her hand, tucks her thumb high around the pencil, presses the lead hard into the paper. She is learning her lowercase letters, has mastered the small a, writes her 2’s and 7’s backwards. Her spelling is impeccable.

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