Rebirthing Mother       1 • [2] • 34567891011
Christie Logan

Rog . . . 1954?

Im four years old - maybe five.

I wake up in the front bedroom. Dark. Noises.

My grandmas voice -
you get out!

His thundering voice -
No! These are my kids - Mine. You cant stop me. You old bitch. Goddam queen bitch.

Were both awake, Punk and I. The baby sleeps in the bassinet.

The door opens. Light comes on. Its him, hes furious. Hes weaving. He stumbles god dammit!

Nannie follows him in; her voice is shrill: You get out now! You leave us alone!

Theyre at the foot of the bed.
She grabs for his arm; he pushes her away.

She falls back and we cant see her.
I start shaking, cant stop. Dad?? Punk says.

He moves toward us, around the corner to my side.
Its okay. Dont be scared. Im whimpering.
Stop it! Its okay I said.
He moves to us. He smells, a sour smell I know. It scares me, that smell. Its okay, Im taking you with me.

He takes my hand but I pull away; he cant get hold. Its okay...

He scoops me in his arms, he reeks and hes so strong.
His voice is raspy, he scares me.
Im taking you away from here. Shh..... Its okay, Im taking you with me.

I see Nannie coming up from the floor; she screams at him Get out! You wont take them!

I try to get away. He drops me onto the bed.
He moves away from us to Nannie.
Punk and I are screaming, we scramble to the pillows.

Nannie stands up at the foot of the bed, get out! she screams. He moves to her and punches her. She falls; we scream as he staggers to her again.

He comes back to us. Its okay, Im taking you away from here. Nannie moves, she tries to get up; he lunges to her and punches her again. Old bitch!

Punk grabs me and we run.

We go to the kitchen, to the phone. He calls the Operator.

Tells her, its my dad,
hes punching my grandma.
Hes beating her bloody.
Hes killing her.

He sounds so scared.
Im shaking, my teeth chatter.
He pulls me to the door and we go outside.

Thats all I remember.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The next morning I wake up in the front bedroom.
I go into the hallway and Punk is standing at Nannies door.
Its closed.
He motions me to him. Opens the door.

Shes there, in bed, shes sleeping.

We move to the bed, the side of the bed.
Her face is bloody, its black and blue.

Streaks of blood on her pillow.
Theres some on the sheet,
on the floor.

It wasnt a dream.

Is she dead?

No, Punk says.
Shes breathing, see?

Theres so much blood.

Again, I start shaking, I cant stop.

Punk takes my hand, pulls me out of the room.
I can hardly walk, Im shaking so.
He takes me to the kitchen table, helps me up on a chair.

Its okay, he says.
No, I say.

I watch him.
He goes to the fridge, pulls out the milk. Goes to the cupboard.

Im shaking, I cant stay there.
I crawl down and under the table, into the far corner.

I watch him pour milk into a cup, he turns around.
Bends down so he can see me.

He crawls under the table, hands me the milk.

Im shaking so he holds my hand around the cup.

Its okay, he says.
Its okay.

1 • [2] • 34567891011

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