I say this line sometimes from a story I write in my head.

I say it loud and confident in my best southern accent:

“Daylene! Get in here. Daddy needs a sponge bath.”

I imagine Daylene lives in a trailer home in the South, with her Momma and her Daddy. Daylene is small, blond, rail thin and sweet. She is fierce when it comes to scrubbing Daddy during the sponge bath. If she hurts him he’ll want it over faster, so she scrubs real hard with her tiny pink hands, which are so thin you can almost see right into her veins, all blue and tangly running up her arms.

Daylene’s Momma sometimes cracks her on the head or the behind with a cast iron skillet. She’ll yell “Daylene, get in here before I make you get the skillet so I can crack you on the head with it.”

Daylene has a secret though. She’s getting strong. Early in the morning and late at night when everyone is asleep or no one is home, she’s been lifting the cast iron skillet, over and over, high over her head and then back down to the ground again. Daylene knows that one day when she is strong enough, she will either leave this place forever and not look back, or she will have the nerve to smack them both over the head with that skillet and kill them.

That’s Daylene. Maybe one day she’ll make it into a story or two. Until then Daylene lives in my mind.

Daylene! Get in here!

4 thoughts on “Daylene

  1. Having endured years of abuse by my mother’s father, I wish I would’ve thought to lift the cast-iron skillet over & over, building up my strength, in order to leave the horrors of my life at that time. Instead of a skillet, I turned to myself and said “it” will not continue. I said “no, you’re not going to hurt me anymore” and even though he tried, the abuse ended. So did my eating in secret and biting my nails down until they bled. When I look at photos of myself during that time, I see such a sad child, with eyes that were wiser than they should have been.

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