"It's about words, and words are all I have…"



This is not a dream sequence  though the memory was

dredged up  by a dream about a now dead girlfriend  of

some 50 yrs. ago   Took me into an empty house  back in

the old neighbourhood   Her father’s brother + wife  had

lived there  Now the house was  For Sale   She said also that

her Aunt was in a mental hospital


small hand prints   in black charcoal  smear walls +floors

counter-top  especially near stove  has deep black hand+foot

prints   A child burned in effigy


Her Aunt left the daughter  then 3  alone on a Spring afternoon

Uncle returned at 6  to smell of burning flesh  The friend tells me

her Aunt  was pretty  & now no one in the family will speak to her

& no one wants to buy the house  either


The other children are in the  Children’s Aid     So  there is a place

children can go  to escape mad mothers & hot stoves?


It never occurred to me to tell anybody   & it didn’t seem all that strange

I had heard too of parents  on many of these streets  screaming in the night

with dreams of those  other ovens  across the sea     It was the year  1963


Much later  somewhere around 2003  my client  a 7 yr. old boy  began to unplug

the stove when his family was asleep   He also begged for a St. John’s Ambulance

course    So happy to be returned home in the  Family Reunification Program    


Just  a few years before   baby brother was burned   almost beyond recognition

as mother slept soundly on the couch    It’s better to cry with only one eye   and

with the other  I watch the stove    (Pete  7yrs. old   2003)




Fall  2014


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One thought on “ONE EYE

  1. Martin Atkins on said:

    A little heavy for my morning read! Please tell me that this horrible accident is fiction and not real.

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