She begins with the grass that runs along the border near the bottom. She's careful, as the tea-stained linen cloth is beginning to fray from the hundreds of times she's pulled it in and out of the canvas shopping bag where she keeps her sewing. She pulls each stitch carefully, her movements a kind of mirror to the rhythm she's developed over the months of creating the design. One after another, the tiny x's are removed, row by row. Row by row the meadow disappears.
"You need something to keep you busy," the nurse said, her eyes kind and full of sympathy. Belinda didn't want her sympathy, but she bought the kit anyway. It beat staring out the window of the hospital room, watching the same oak tree day after day, its grey-green leaves shivering in the endless wind. It beat staring at her daughter on the bed.
Beneath the stitches the cloth is clean, protected from the oil on her fingers, the worrying that worked to unravel the parts not protected by the embroidery hoop. A Beautiful...
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