Week after week, the same time each Thursday because change makes her crazy, she and I sit together in her pain and I do no more than believe her story. She remembers when she was seven, her mother would slap her hard across the face, stinging her cheek, the screech of her mother’s voice like a winter’s branch on glass: Stop telling such outrageous stories about your father. Outside a cold wind whips at the new leaves on the trees, April, but it might snow again. I add a fresh log to the wood stove, she shivers her failure to wear the right clothes for this weather. Spring is supposed to be warm, she says. I want her not to be so goddamned damaged. I want to be a better medicine woman with magic to shape her sorrow into something finer. But I am as limited as her possibilities. Her tears fill my office. I look for the high-water mark on the white plaster above my windows, above my diplomas, almost to the ceiling, warning me how long before this room and I hold all the tragedy we can.