by April Jones
Gravity’s hands push hard on my chest. My heart beats inside my chest. I left the yard, and I
know I am in trouble. It’s not the sting of the switch against my legs as they pump towards the
house, it’s the look in my father’s eyes. His green eyes look wild. My eyes focus on the white
siding and the empty windows. The hill sticks to the bottoms of shoes as I lift my legs to climb it.
I feel like I have been climbing it all my life. I left the yard to get a doll from the neighbor. I’m
not allowed outside the yard. The moment my purple tennis shoes touch our grass I feel the sting
of my rebellion, and I know that I am in trouble. The blue porch steps are sliding into the house
and the house is sliding away from me. I can see the places on the screen door where the cat has
clawed at it to get attention. The white door behind the screen is partially open, calling to me.
But I can’t reach it. I can’t hear my father’s breath or his footsteps like I can on the hardwood
floors inside the house, but I can feel his anger emanating off my calves and thighs, and I want
my mother. I wish that I could fly high into the old maple resting beside our gravel driveway. I
wish I could remember what I did. All I can think about is the white door I’m begging to open