It’s twilight when we bring Daddy home. The shadows fall in gradations of blue to black with each gradation fading into the next. We fluff the pillows and pull back the bedsheets before we wheel him into the room that has been his alone for the past three months. Mama still sleeps in the room she once shared with him. She watches us silently from the doorway as we help him into bed, gingerly holding each arm as he slides onto the soft mattress, lifting each leg so he doesn’t strain himself. When he looks up at us, his expression is mean and helpless and vulnerable all at once. This is the man whose voice sent us trembling to our rooms; the man whose slaps across our cheeks sent us hurtling into streets looking for that elusive dream: men whose touches don’t leave bruises, welts and tears. He blinks lashes heavy with tears that pool at the corners of his eyes. I look down where I held him by the ankle. A bruise forms in the shape of my fingers, blue as indigo ink fading into black.
Cynthia C. Scott
Season of the Witch