lived here six months while our house in Fargo was being
readied. I got out of school early, so
did not have older sisters to guide me home, and got lost.
I walked and walked, getting more and more lost and
broke down in tears, wetting my panties in anxiety. No
but soon I became aware of the iron pylon with a cannonball
on top that protected cars from the open gutter, and it looked
like an iron little girl to me. As I stared at it,
it became a symbol of my own iron self within me, and I knew
the courage to find home. I asked the nearest passerby
to take me to the police. When I got home, Mother was
of praise for my having taken charge of myself, being so
self-sufficient. Here was born the stubborn autonomy
that has been my lifelong prized possession.