The day after, Birdie bins and washes, shelves detritus of a home upended. Dust clogs her nose. Tickles her eyes. She sneezes. Blinks. Sneezes yet again.
Birdie knows dust is partly skin, that skin sloughs and regenerates each moon cycle while her bones and heart require ten years of cycles to renew. By which math, she has been reborn five times at least since birth. (Hers and hers, depending.)
But some math Birdie cannot figure:
Volume accumulated by empty rooms. The ratio of bitter to sweet.
When a child is grown and flown, is a mother still a mom?