This entry is a continuation of “Slow Pirouette for the Dancing Girl.”
Me as a kid, and my mom and dad
When the police and DCYF officials came ready to knock down the door of the apartment I shared with my mother in the projects, the real blow was to my mother’s psyche – not the metal frame as it shook on its hinges. She had already lost custody of one child. When they took me away that Easter day, I felt like I was the one disappointing her, not the other way around.
By nightfall, I found myself in a warmly-lit kitchen. My new foster mother was clucking her tongue, looking sideways at me.
“Poor thing.” she said. Continue reading
I stood with my feet firmly planted in the middle of a mental breakdown. I was seven years old, there was broken glass all around me and half of my hair was cut off. My small body was red all over and my mother was at the dark green metal door to our apartment in the Beechland Street projects of Roslindale, Mass.
Who was at the door? It was my teenage baby-sitter, Jeannie. Jeannie had heard the crashing, yelling and screaming. My mother – she had one ear to the door and she was looking back at me, listening to Jeannie ask if everything was okay and holding a finger up to her lips as if to say, “If you don’t tell, no one will take you away from me.”
Then Jeannie’s parents were there in the hall. They wanted to hear my voice – make sure I was okay. They had heard about the time my brother was taken away. So my mother motioned me over to the door. I looked at it. It was like a warehouse door. Industrial grade. With paint you could scratch off with your fingernails. The door looked back at me. Continue reading