She slumped at the kitchen table, face pocked with scabs. She hadn't been home for nine months. Refused to tell me where she'd been. Mommy, can I come home? My daughter, on the eve of her twenty-seventh birthday. Now, I check her breathing while she sleeps, Wake her to make sure she's alive. She shuffles through the morning kitchen on the way to her back-porch cigarette. In her ratty green bathrobe she grins at me through the window blowing smoke, singing along.