On Home Sweet Home

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The rooms never really felt like mine. They were full of furniture bought because normal people started their normal lives with a dining room set, a bedroom set, a dinette set, a living room set, and a breakfront heavy with silver gifts that shouted. Bookcases full of holy books, for holy people, living holy lives.

Of course I knew that before I changed anything, it was best to ask Sister or Mother. I knew that that I had always hung the pictures in the wrong places, for the wrong reasons, on the wrong walls, that I had always shown them to the wrong people.

I knew that I didn’t know how to decorate, pick paint or arrange flowers, and that I couldn’t do the laundry without leaving stains on the clothes. I knew that I always set the table with the wrong fork on the wrong side, that I couldn’t be trusted to put the rug straight and even, that I never remembered to dust the tops of the bookcases.

Of course I knew all this, I’m not stupid, you know.

On Snow

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SnowIn the winter it snowed, and the drifts piled up and the streets turned into slippery passageways. It was cold outside but I put on the gloves and grabbed the shovel with my icy hands. It took a long while, and then the driveway was clear.

I went and I came and I saw that the neighbor had made a big pile as he cleared off the car, and he had placed that big pile so that I could not leave.

I felt the force of the ignorant and the power of the survivors in the mountains and molehills of the snowy banks.

Did I mean so very little, or was it that I meant so very much?

It mattered then but it hardly matters now, but every once in a while I wonder what happens when they are shoveled under a pile of dirt, when the snow covers the stone.

On Locks

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It seems strange now to think of myself as a prisoner, but I was one, in my own basement, for the 6 long months between the time when I asked him to leave and the time of his departure.

I had to get away but I could never leave my babies, so there was no place to go but down.

I used to take the door handles off, it was my only cushion against him when I tried to sleep. You can’t get in without the handle most of the time, but when he was really angry the screwdriver worked just as well so I guess it was a silly idea.

He let me come upstairs when the schedule said so, but down there was my home, my nest, and up there were my beauties, my loves, my jewels.

I remember lying there in the darkness, as the sounds of my children dripped down through the ceiling, their tears leaving stains above my head.

Once I tried to keep him out of the basement by installing a lock on the door. I never thought he would actually break the door.

Maybe the locks kept me in instead of keeping him out.