Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for providing a place to share our slices every week.
When I was ten, we moved from Monrovia, California to Simi Valley, California.
My grandmother called it a ‘God forsaken place.”
When I was ten, I lived in the Santa Susanna Hills, waiting for our house to be built.
The closet was cedar and I could stand in it. My mother didn’t like the toothless, tattooed woman living next door so we moved,
When I was ten, I wore shorts under my dresses so I could twirl on the monkey bars,
Until I got caught. “Young ladies don’t do that,” my grandmother said.
When I was ten, thousands of miles away, four girls were murdered because of the color of their skin. Was I shielded from the news? Protected? It wasn’t discussed at my house.
When I was ten, I lived in an apartment, waiting for our house to be built. I shared a bedroom with my brother. We went to Abraham Lincoln School.
When I was ten, the boy who sat in front of me always bothered me. One day, he turned around and pulled the buttons off my sweater.
When I was ten, I would climb trees and spend the day reading.
When I was ten, the loud speaker came on at school. The principal in a somber voice announced, ” President Kennedy has been shot.” We were all sent home. I arrived home and my mother was crying.
When I was ten, we stayed home for a national day of mourning. I played Barbies most of the day. I kept the newspaper for my scrapbook.
When I was ten, the world shifted.
I am not sure I like how this ends. It feels abrupt. But I have been thinking about a piece of writing like this since I read Carole Boston Weatherford’s book, Birmingham 1963. I am toying with playing around with it in the pantuom form.