“Those Browns!” said Mom, after Billy’s first visit. “They’re not smart. Short-lived, too.”
Both were true. But when my leg was in a cast, Billy carried me into the school. He blanketed everyone with kindness—warmth personified.
When the cancer got him, age 50, our children and I cried buckets.
Rita Stevens has been a teacher and newspaper writer in west Michigan. She writes every day—three novels and a stack of short stories so far.
You’re dead, Patsy Brown? Only forty?
Day after Noddy’s dad come home, you invite her: “After school, come for ice cream.”
She skip all the way.
Your mother sneer: “Jailbird’s kid. Go home, Nadia!”
She crawl away like a bug.
And you laughed, Patsy Brown.
My Noddy still alive.
Rita Stevens is a graduate of Kalamazoo’s Western Michigan University and lives in the area, in the city of Portage, about 40 miles from Lake Michigan. She has been a teacher in the local schools and a jill-of-all-trades for a small newspaper.