Morning recess, Dewey Elementary: Wendy’s father left circulates the sandbox. I saw her mother later clutching a gristled Brillo pad, bent over at an angle as she tackled the kitchen sink. Wendy at the table not allowed to come play, quarantined till bedtime with a basket of flashcards. This was how I learned that fathers could vanish, but didn’t learn I shouldn’t ask why her father did. The word divorce so ashamed it hid one of its own vowels; made a mother in stilettos and an apron with white ruffles scrub porcelain so hard it simply had to shine.