I walk in circles unable to find the place at first but our tree is still there.
When at last I find it I am surprised at the smallness of the marks we left. I kneel and run my fingers over our carved letters. All this time and the tree has kept them for us. It could have easily healed itself. The cuts were not deep. They were made only with children's hands. Certain things were placed in the box.
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We were not supposed to touch them. No one said it but we felt it. It was the way our mother held the box to her chest as she walked along the hallway, protectively, as though it was a baby. She hid it from us in clear view. Angela and I removed it from the top shelf of the linen closet. The door creaked. In the weeping house the only sound was our breathing in the silence that followed.
Already, in the few weeks, a light layer of dust had settled over its lid. It was Angela's idea. She said we needed to look inside to find my singing voice. It would help me to remember exactly when and how it happened that the words lodged in my chest quite close to my heart. You'll never get it back unless you know why it went away, she said.
She was full of ideas. It was a simple blue cardboard box. I thought it would be heavy. I thought the weight of it would make my arms shake but it was light. The writing on the lid said in flowing white script carnegie elegant glassware.
In blue ink in the right-hand corner was one more word. My sister Danielle was sleeping when we entered the room.
She was facing us with her knees drawn up. In those weeks all anyone did was sleep. Our house was like Sleeping Beauty's palace after the enchanted spell is cast. People slept on beds and on sofas. They closed their eyes in chairs with cups of sweetened tea in their hands. Mum slept with pills that Aunty Cheryl counted out into her hand and guided to her mouth.
Dad slept on the floor between us with one arm slung across his eyes. Angela and I sat on my bed with the box between us. She looked at Danielle sleeping and then at me, asking me with her eyes if it was all right. I shrugged. I didn't know what my mother would do if she found us with the box.
I didn't know if she would sense it had been opened and leap from her bed and come running to find us. I didn't know what it would contain. When I opened the lid the smell of fifty-cent-sized raindrops hitting dry earth escaped. Angela opened her mouth into an O. View Count: 0. New item Free shipping Ping Add this item to Cart for a combined free shipping deal. Once shipped, delivery takes working days. Ten-year-old Jennifer Day lives in a small mining town full of secrets. Trying to make sense of the sudden death of her teenage sister Beth, she looks to the adult world around her for answers.
As she recounts the final months of Beth's life, Jennifer sifts through the lies and the truth, but what she finds are mysteries, miracles and more questions.
Was Beth's death an accident? Why couldn't Jennifer - or anyone else - save her? Through Jennifer's eyes, we see one girl's failure to cross the threshold into adulthood and her family slowly falling apart. In this award-winning novel, Karen Foxlee captures perfectly the essence of growing up in a small town and the complexities and absurdities of family life.
The Anatomy of Wings by Karen Foxlee
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