This is the story of your gypsy uncle, the boys who love you, your red right ankle, sing the Decemberists, and I think "The gypsy uncle was named Sal, and the ring finger on his left hand was cut off at the knuckle, skin pulled tight over the bone there, pink and angry in the winter. He sat beside the wooden wheels of his caravan in the afternoons, sipping homemade coffee from an iron cup until his breath was bitter as it rose like steam in the cold. He would stare at the crumbling rock of the ground, sift pebbles in his whole hand as he turned over the idea in his mind like a well worn good wish stone, kissed for luck and tossed back into his pocket early that morning.
He hadn't seen her since she was three years old, her hair dark and tangled in the buttons of her dress as she laughed and tripped over her father's shoes. He'd given her a carved salamander with long lizard lips curled into a smile and she'd pressed her little girl lips to his cheek, waved her small hand as his sister carried her away. She wrote him Christmas cards each year in colors bright and bold but never red, never green. The year her father had left, she'd stopped sending cards and letters, and he knew it wasn't a judgment on him, only the circumstances. When his sister died, the girl went to live with her grandparents, Sal's parents who were round and cracked with age like brown nuts.
He set aside boxes of carving for her and posted them every year a week before her birthday in spring. Glossy photographs from his parents showed him her long hair, her dark eyes, and folded around the pictures were short notes in her shaky child's hand writing. There are ducks on the pond, they float white over the water, she wrote. Sal tacked them to the wall of the caravan, above his desk. They were hung in a straight line, from the oldest to the newest, military in their precision.
She's come to find you, his mother rasped into the phone. She left us a week ago.
Sal hadn't ever slipped into optimism before, he wouldn't now that May had disappeared. Find her, his mother had asked him. Please find her. "
It's not much, but it might be a start of me climbing out of the hole of writer's block I've been inhabiting.