Oh the Children!

I was a hiding again in the cupboard,

they had started again and the grinding

hatred was spat out in words and then

he hit her, over and over. I heard her

moans and then screams and then all

went silent and I’d wet myself again.


I stayed still and silent hoping that he

wouldn’t look for me and let me know

again how loathsome and babylike I

was and how he hates us all; and then

he will collapse like a balloon bursting,

and his snoring engulf us all. I held on


and then I heard the shuffling and moaning

and knew that he had crumpled, for a 

moment we were safe from his vile venom.

I crept out and nearly screamed when I

saw her bloodied and broken face. She

was holding her arm and I knew that we

would take the bus and go to the hospital.


There, they would patch her up and ask

her questions, but she would never give

any real answers. She pointed to my wet 

trousers and I slipped afraid upstairs and 

changed and washed them out and hung

them over the cold rusting radiator in my


little bedroom. Then she covered her 

head with a scarf and put on a virus face 

mask. After taking my shaking hand she 

left the house and we ran down to-

gether down to the bus stop. The driver

looked at her suspiciously but 

she paid for the ticket to St Anne’s.


We sat in a small room and they came

and took her away for X-rays and 

a lady wearing a pink jumper came

and showed me some pictures. She 

asked me to choose one that was like

my house. I pointed to the one that 

was collapsed and had peeling wall-

paper, dirty carpets and bare shelves.


Touching my arm, she asked me to choose

a picture of my Mum. That was easy 

as they had one of a lady who was

dressed in bandages. Then I saw that

there was a picture like my Dad. He 

was angry and his fist was bigger than 

his head. I shrank down, 

hid my head,

and cried. 

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margins are a great place sometimes because it is where change happens fastest but it is also a horrible place when we are stuck in them and grace is the moment when we can see that someone cares.

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