when it was time to wake up, she'd ring a bell.
it weighed about half a pound
small, copper, chipped on one corner.
she'd seen it in a movie once
tucked in beside her sister and father at a black and white picture.
a stout old man in a sunday suit
shook a large copper bell until a puffy black woman
rounded a corner in a white apron.
she had thought it was the perfect thing, kneeling amongst the old porcelain dishes, and dusty picture frames at an estate auction
to call her girls with. to remind them
that this life
was not a vacation.
every morning, the same.
she'd come in from the kennel, the smell of morning work under her arms, already sticking to the skin around her neck.
old blue jeans and a purple sweatshirt, she'd pull off her black barn boots by the front door, washing her hands in the large square sink.
she and the sun would've been up two hours, enough time to build a warm chest of resentment. two small girls, asleep in pink rectangle beds
she had paid for, dressed
while she worked alone in rows of wire cages
scrubbing circles around memories of her little golden girl.