I stay small in the shadows, I don’t want you to see me this way, I don’t want to be here.
The creeping ends and begins with momma.
She was hanging in the tree, her dress was flowing and the sun made bright red, orange and purple streaks behind her head deep into the sky. She’d swung there for a long time. I sat and watched from below until they came had to take me away from the tree, had to drag me by my arms and legs. The moonlight shone on them in a single beam. I watched them from the window, pull her down. They yanked her by her foot until she swung hard and fell. I heard the cracking and saw her head turned around, something I tried to do but couldn’t. I had only seen it on TV, a head turned like that. Her feet were black and her eyes bulged more than usual. The moonlight faded.
“Get away from that winda, ya hear.” Grandma yelled, and whipped the broom upside my head. Grandma couldn’t take care of us, so this lady came to take me to a new home. I had six new homes before I was able to be alone.
The first home was OK. It was full of kids like me. Three to a room, bunkbeds and a single twin. No dressers, just a closet.
The house mother would say, “This is short-term, lil’ girl. No long stays.”
The second house was an old couple. Their house smelled like chicken soup, all the time, and they had three cats and a goat. They were nice people. Nothing weird or special, just liked to get the paychecks. The goat stayed outside in the front yard. Old Man said it was for keeping the lawn trimmed, he was too old to mow the yard. When the goat died, he got a hand push mower, and gave it me. I had fun with it, I made circles and patches all over the place. Old Man didn’t think it was so funny.
The next house was alright too.
It was the last house… it was the bad one.
It was really bad, I don’t talk about it. Don’t like to think about it, but it was the first time I killed a man. He was coming into the room, and the lock wouldn’t stop him, he reach for me and I bit him. He smacked me hard to the ground. Everything around me went black, and my ears rang. I could feel his hand pull up on my thighs. I felt the ground around me. The pen cradled itself into my fingers. I stabbed his eyes out and kicked his nose in with the ball of my heel.
House number five, I had seven brothers. Fighting them off me had it’s rewards.
I went for an evaluation, before trial. I guess they haven’t had any conclusions, because, I’m still here. I don’t know how long, but I seen the snow now a couple of times. I think about being able to go out in the snow, walk under it, open my mouth and let it hit my tongue. Feel it melt on my cheeks. I want to lay and make snow angels, feel the cold against my ears, numb out the noise.
They got into a circle around me once, and they sang to me. The lady in the white coat told me to make a wish and blew out the flame rising from a frosted single cake, wrapped in colored paper. Chocolate. My favorite. I wished for a black and shiny handled rod. The little red light is on and when it turns green, it’s ready. The cord coming from it tangles in circles and loops into knots.
I ripped apart the pretty paper around the box. Pencils in a package, all different colors. I took one from the cellophane, turned to the lady in the coat. She smiled at me and asked if I wanted to draw. I lurched the pencil forward and drove it through soft white of her eyeball. After the party they moved me into a different room. I have not eaten frosted cake since then.
Maybe that made the conclusion come, and it said that I shall remain in the white room, with the white bed, with the white sheets—stained with red dots.
I finally got a visitor; the sister I had at the last house, the bad house. She was there when I killed that man. Her dad. She watched. They took her to a hospital when they found us. The neighbor had heard the bad man screaming and called the authorities.
I asked her to come back, she did. I asked her to bring me what I had wished for. When the nurses found me I had 29 burns—under my arms, around my breasts, and inside my thighs.
I no longer lay alone. The little one-eye box sees me everyday, red blinking light. Blinking, blinking, doesn’t stop. Fixed above the barred window.
The nurse comes to give me the pills now. Now, Now, I look past her. Now I fall. I can see my escape right beyond my reach.
Can the moon shine bright in the alleyway behind the zig-zag stairs, will it shine a path for me to walk on, will it wind around the trees in the park and ask for a coat when it snows. Do the zig-zag stairs come down and let the little lady go. On the way will I pass a face that I will recognize? In the twisting of my interior course, will the wind blow, will the wind blow?