White Laundry Baskets

by April Jones


Four white laundry baskets line
the wall, filled with our clothes. I hold tight
to a yellow Fischer-Price purse with a white
handle. Mamaw said I could take it home
today my father tells me I can’t live with him
anymore. But I want to stay with you daddy. He looks
at my mother, then back at me. No. Doesn’t he want
me? Why doesn’t he want me? I don’t want to live
with momma, I want to live with you.
I don’t even
like her. I’m sorry about the doll daddy. I’m sorry I left
the yard. I won’t do it again.
He shakes his head. His
eyes are angry. My mother picks up one of the white
laundry baskets and grabs my hand. She looks at me
and says, You can see your daddy on weekends. We load
the car with our clothes and my yellow purse. We are going
to live with a friend whose name is Tina. I don’t like Tina. When
my father closes the door he doesn’t way. He doesn’t look at me,
but stares at my mother. She starts the car, and we drive to Tina’s
with only our clothes and a weekend promise.

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