By Delbert H. Rhodes
Of my childhood memories: the saddest is seeing my mother harmed.
While attending laundry in our backyard, suddenly my mother begins to yell. Though busy in my bedroom at play, I stop to listen. Initially, her words are difficult to understand, I feel tense. Somehow, I realize that she is angry, scared.
Suddenly the furor rushes indoors, and then into the living room. Running to my bedroom door, I see my mother and stepfather fighting. I have never seen this before, but afraid for my mother, I place my tiny body between him and her. A small piano sits to the rear and against the wall. Angered by my interference, my stepfather forces me back and against the piano’s keyboard.
My little back hurt and my anger increases. I want to hurt ‘him.’ I fight him; but am too small, and unable to wrench free of his grasp. Looking straight at him and without fear, I scream, “When I grow-up I’m going to ‘kill’ you, for hurting my mother!” “I’m going to ‘kill’ you!” I repeat this, blood rushes to my little muscles and I remove his hands.
The fight continues and then soon stops. Frightened for my mother I stay by her side. I would not permit this horrible man to touch her again. Soon he leaves the house and my mother telephones the police. The officer arrives and meets us in the front yard. My mother does not press charges against my stepfather. Now, I am angry with her.
Even unhappiness takes a break, but quickly returns. Once more the snake strikes.
My mother wakes the three of us, telling us to go home with our neighbor. While leaving the bedroom, I could hear noise, loud banging on the kitchen door. My stepfather loudly yells to my mother to open the door. He is angry, and I refuse to leave my mother alone. “Go.” My mother insists. “Go.”
The neighbor leads me out by the hand, as I look over my shoulder. I am afraid for my mother. Before I leave, another loud bang on the kitchen door, it swings open and my stepfather rushes inside. My mother runs to stop him; in his hand, he carries a short plank. The brute swings the board, hitting my mother across one of her calves. I try to wrestle free from the neighbor, but she holds me tightly. My mother is hurt, but keeps fighting. I am hurt and keep trying to get free. I want desperately to help her; I ache desperately to hurt ‘him.’
Copyright © 2011 Delbert H. Rhodes