Mattie cradled her youngest grandchild and looked at his mother over the babe’s downy head.
“Art going to tell me?” she asked gently.
Her daughter pleated the sprigged cotton of her skirt with nervous fingers.
“Thoui’t think me a fool.”
“Mam. When did anyone last call thee by thy given name?”
“Long before thy birth, my love.”
“Once we married your da called me Wife. Then when Will was born, I became Mother.”
“It ain’t right, Mam.”
Mattie put her hand over Elizabeth’s.
“It’s the price we pay, love, for healthy babies.”
“Aye Mam. I reckon it is.”