Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Maybe it is because there is a part of me that is still back there somewhere. The child that was embarrassed to have other people know that she lived in the projects on Martha Street. Thirty-six Martha st. I liked to think even then that I was better than what was around me, but the truth is - I was as poor as any of them and in many ways as unhappy. I could hear my friends being beaten by their parents for small things, yelled at on their front lawns, looked filthy and bedraggled on their way to school; children with mean dirty faces. They were worn down before they had a chance to do it to themselves. The sadness was there as a constant, but only lessened by bursts of playing a game of chase in and between the rows of houses into the evening. So when I see these young weathered faces, I feel helpless in the worst way. I want to whisper in their ear that they are good and smart and worthy of love. I want to tell them to hang in there…it will get better. To hold them tight. But, I know that for many they will only carry their shame and hurt into their lives, and some of the lucky ones, like me, will pretend that this never happened. Deny that it was ever part of you. Look forward and make the past disappear somewhere. Look the other way so it doesn’t hurt anymore.

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