I looked at the clock,
like a man nailed to the wall
but still only half annoyed
Right on cue, the phone rings
I set down my magazine
dog-earing some page for a mushroom-soup-casserole
Harvey, my son,
it isn't like he's challenged or anything-
to be honest, I bet he could beat me at chess any day-
things just seem to
my ex husband
Harvey and he would be home alone all day
and **** would say that Harvey would whisper things to him
about his mom
about things he had done as a kid and covered up, things he never, never talked about
of your own son
But still, it shook Richard up
One day, I come home and
God, I just have to say it all at once
No 2 year old, none
was supposed to see this
so innocent, so wonderful
I got the little angel out of there
and then called the ambulance
Richard paid his hospital bills.
He took nothing in the divorce.
I get the feeling he just wanted to get out.
Still, I personally have never had a problem around Harvey
With me, he's the perfect little angel
With most strangers too!
Something about him can just bring out the best in people
That's why I thought he would be okay in daycares.
He should have made so many friends.
It never fails,
within a week of his enrollment
instructors always want Harvey out
Fights just happen around him
Temper tantrum rates are skyrocketing! He can't stay here
three of our volunteers have committed suicide in the last week
It is unsettling.
Being singled out for being a single mother!
Because that's what it is;
at first, I thought that it was a coincidence
but the pattern
to think! in the 21st century,
that would still be happening!
I was outraged.
But I guess, there might,
So I took precautions.
This last program I signed him up for
it's for high maintenance children
And you know!
He lasted for two whole weeks!
But as I said before, the phone is ringing.
I answer it on the third ring.
And all I hear is screaming.
This isn't about Harvey, there's something very, very wrong.
Maybe a fire.
A break in.
be about Harvey.
I practically throw myself into my Subaru
and almost put my foot to the road, I slam it down so hard
broke about 60 traffic laws
all the way to the day care center.
There were no firetrucks
No signs that anything was wrong at all.
The children were squealing, almost like
But it wasn't right.
Those were not happy screams.
God forbid, if I'd had the radio on
I would have missed the difference between
And there was something else
notes of adult voices strained in with the chorus of children
they sounded far away
I had to strain to hear them.
And the red peppering the windows.
That had to be finger paint.
It had to be.
Had to be.
The speed that had possessed me before
My footfalls served as a metronome
to a chorus
from a Stravinsky and pizza fueled nightmare
This isn't Harvey
This isn't Harvey
I pushed open the door, and the smell is what hit me first.
Day cares never smell nice, but this was the smell of sewage and of
of pork chops.
of beef steaks.
of uncooked hamburger meat.
Next I saw them.
Ripping off clothing.
Clothing that made sticky, slapping noises as they hit the ground and the floor
pulling apart the same way my old dog
would rip apart a rabbit or a groundhog,
But it was just children pulling of clothes.
And paper cuts.
but paper cuts.
And the teachers...
I can't lie about the teachers.
One was in the process of pulling out her own kidneys
obviously after throwing herself down the stairs
Her high heels laid
at the top
and her legs
raw and ******
were twisted at awkward angles.
Well manicured fingernails cut through her face
and her ears dangled half way down her neck
When she looked at me,
all I saw was fear.
I went into the art hall
Harvey's favorite spot
For a six year old,
he was artistic
and more skilled than most adults
paintings of angels
one that I didn't hang on the refrigerator
one of a man in a bathtub
I found Harvey there.
Not a scratch.
He was humming, painting a picture of another angel.
Its wings were spread wide, and the stance was militant
yet his face was serene
like someone finishing a book.
In both hands, he held a spear
and with the left, he drove it into a goat
some poor wretch
howling in pain.
THIS IS NOT MY FAULT
Did you see them?
I could not speak.
I'm making them pure.
Written from a terrible nightmare last year. When I found this again, it was hardly more than scribbles and my own drawings of angels. Took a while to adapt.