once while my dad stood at the kitchen sink and washed dishes, a cardinal flew right up to the window, landed on a sliver of frame, looked at him for a few seconds, and flew away. I've never seen a cardinal do that, he said. never. he didn't say it, but he didn't have to. I knew what he was thinking. she'd been gone for nearly half a decade but, still. we saw her every once in a while. a crimson blur at the window, a soft pink opaline sky. mom.