A Space for Writers of the World
A fist goes into the drywall, leaves another hole I’ll have to fix. I’m afraid to leave my room. I cover my head with a pillow. I can hear her bare feet slap against the wood floor as she runs. Mom barricades the bathroom door with her body. Father yells and pounds the door. He kicks, breaks the door from the frame.
Sobs after— You made me do this. Flashing red lights shine through my blinds. Knocking on the front door becomes a loud bang and gets louder. I cover myself in blankets try to disappear.
They’ll take dad again. My sister Angelica stands in my doorway. I see her cry, like when my brother Juan shot six humming birds with a pellet gun. He placed their tiny purple blue bodies on the windowsill for her to find.
Juan laughed the way my father does.
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Scott Hernandez was born and raised on a small chicken ranch in southern California. He has lived among the vanishing agricultural communities that are often seen in his work but are now gone forever. His recent work appears in American Poetry Review, Packing House Review, Red Wheel Barrow, Acsentos Review, and Palabra.
This brings back some of the horror I experienced as a child, and I can identify with each detail. Different players. Different abuse. But the same abandonment and betrayal. Violation of trust at the highest level. Family. This is what we, as survivors , do. This is our healing. Our therapy. Paper. Pen. Ink. One night, alone, by the soft glow of Christmas tree lights I could not find paper. I took out tissue paper, for wrapping clothing in a box, and I wrote. We do what we can, creatively rather than destructively, to heal. Not to say we didn’t try the other first but I had my children to live for. I guess you can say they saved my life. Thank you for sharing a very intimate slice of time in your life with others. You might be saving a life, too.