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Nov 2016
Right in the middle of the busiest area of the Poconos, the group of condos sit in a large circle. The sky is dark, for it has been hidden from all possible sunlight by the many awnings and porches that join the different housing units. On one side of the condos the neon lights from the bar next door shine through the children’s windows, but the more occupied side the parking lot is lined with fast food restaurants- clumped together and riotous with large families that frequent them, juggling their small children and many diaper bags; and noisy cars speeding past with loud engines, pungent, murky exhaust spewing out of the back and police sirens constantly blaring down the street. In the parking lot encircled by the condos the tenant kids run around full of light yet somehow full of darkness at the same time. The older kids come out of the small houses to sit on the sidewalk in the evening, and the cracked sidewalks are covered with the faded chalk drawings left there by the youngsters earlier in the day, and with the sheets of crumbled up paper containing poetry no one would ever read, and with the old needles and discarded blunts of their parents who had left them there over the course of the day.

There is one unit in particular, a unit with a broken door from the many men who had tried to force their way in, a unit with holes in every wall that were put there by flying fists and thrown objects that had missed their true target- the oldest daughter. In front of the many holes in the their smiles are fake and their hugs are forced.
Erika Castaldo
Written by
Erika Castaldo
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