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  • Here, the first photo I took of Bennington College in October. My mother and I parading around on Commons Lawn, her high black heels sinking into the grass and leaving tracks of her presence there, my own shoes just pressing down grass too resilient not to pop back up again.

    From here you can see the tree my mother left me under, orientation eve. From here, see where I sat alone for a while, as she walked teary-eyed to the car. My mother, whose presence remains in the torn, upturned sod.

    She is behind me in the photo. She is behind me later, as I bring boys into my bedroom when she is asleep and my stepfather asks what kind of house is she running, here.

    Behind me when he arrives -- April -- tells me that despite his history he's got a light in him that reflects so beautifully on me.

    Behind me when I tell her that I cannot go to school at all, that I am going to run farther away just to see if I can make it. And when I am afraid that I won't be able to make it.

    Now, running away from here toward the west coast, the sod had been filled by rain, and mud has taken care of the holes left by my mother. My mother, who does not appear in this image, but looks nothing like me. My mother, behind me, leaves me at that tree, see, there in the distance. My mother, who, behind me, will watch me go, again.
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