— For Douglas, Ben, and Spuddy My son posts a picture of himself at three years old with his father, my first husband, who still has black curly hair and is looking right out of the photograph at me, as if he knew this day would come, me staring back at him and wondering where that moment has gone. I took the picture, thinking I would capture something of the pleasure of the fresh blueberry-and-peach pie I’d just baked and placed on the wooden table next to the mint tea brewed in a jar with leaves from our garden. He and my son are laughing. The beagle is there, too, his white-tipped tail up in the air, hoping for a bite of pie. We’re out on the patio at the picnic table my first husband built, behind the house we bought together, where we planted two aspen trees the same height as our son under the canopy of blue sky, thinking we would live there forever. We don’t know yet, in the picture, that I’ll leave him four years later; that he will stay in the house, alone, long enough for him to grow his hair into a ponytail, for our son to turn thirty-one, for the trees to pass the roofline, for the beagle to die. We will bury him in the backyard. My first husband will begin to lose his memory and his vision, but he will refuse to sell the motorcycle, as he will have refused us so many things. In the fall before he turns seventy, he’ll insist on driving up into the mountains just one more time, to see the trees turn gold in the September light. As if he knows what is up there waiting for him; as if he has planned precisely how it will be on his last Sunday ride, a joyful goodbye, how it will unleash him, unravel his life, and never end. When the car crashes against his bike, he will fly before he crumples, as if it’s what he has always wanted, leaving us behind to wonder if we have ever understood in his many refusals how he might have been saying yes to something else we just couldn’t see. At moments I think I’ll call him like I always have and, if he’s not there, leave a message, ask, How’ve you been, anyway? I’ve learned that habits take longer to die than people do. I would like to tell him our son is doing well, despite everything that’s been lost. I sometimes think he could still be on the road, out past Lyons or Estes or Allenspark. My son and I could still be waiting for him to call. Or maybe (because who really knows how these things work?) we’re still there in Colorado — him, me, our son, the beagle, beneath the aspens he loved or on our way back to the house. Perhaps we’re there inside the picture, eating pie in the backyard under the brilliant blue sky with the future still unknown, yet all around us.