The room was dark, cold surrounding my body. I could hear the rolling, thump, thump I’ve heard the rocking chair. My fingers held tight to the playpen rails. The only light came from a single window. He wouldn’t stop crying. “Shhhhh” I kept saying over and over. On my tiptoes I peered over the railing. Where is she? Where did my mama go?

The crying and wailing was so loud. “Stop mama, stop” I said. More crying came from her. Coldness gripped my body. The babies were covered with piles of clothes. I knelt next to her. I reached out to huge her, my arms too small to encircle her. Sobbing and wailing broke from her. “Shhhhh, stop crying mama” I said.

I laid against the wall. My legs stretched out before me. My head hurt. My back hurt. “Shhhh” he said. I tried to hold back my cries. “Shhhhh,” he said, “or I will do it again. My tummy hurt from his boot. My head hurt from the wall. “Shhhh”, he said, “or I will do it again.”


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