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In spite of the usually soothing story, Brenna keeps fidgeting and finally sits up.


“What’s wrong Brenna?” I ask.


“I can’t sleep.”


“Just lay down.”


“I can’t.”


“Brenna,” I insist, “lay down.”


She does and I begin softly rubbing her arm, which I know relaxes her.


“My palm,” she mumbles sleepily after a minute, turning her hand over so I can gently rub there too.


Something about a child’s hands is so endearing. They tell a story of life and lineage. I remember her hands so tiny and soft, now thick and toughened by gymnastics, but still those of a child, innocent and vulnerable.


Morning comes at what time I don’t know. We slept well except for a couple times in the dark when we heard several trucks passing, probably more fire crews.


We lie there a few minutes before Brenna opens a book she brought for some assigned reading.

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Taken on September 9, 2018