I admit this isn’t one of my more attractive photos. I had to shoot it though. I showed it to my grandson recently and asked him to tell me what he saw. His response was, “Cookies?” That’s not at all what I thought when I first saw it sitting on the drainage grate in front of a house in my neighborhood. I recognize that my vision isn’t what it once was but I thought it looked more like dog poop than cookies. I took a closer look and realized it was a Thomas’ English muffin with peanut butter. There must be some irony here but I’m not sure what. I say that because this is what D used to eat most mornings for breakfast.
When I realized what it was I said aloud (yes, I talk to myself) “A free writing prompt!” Then my imagination took off for the rest of my walk as I tried to figure out what scenario might have led someone to leave breakfast on the grating. There are so many possibilities.
Scenario #1–Ten-year-old Emma loves animals. It would be just like her to leave her breakfast there for the neighbor’s dog to enjoy when he goes for his morning walk. She knows his owner will bring him by at about 9:00 or so. She sat on the front steps and waited for him during the summer. Or maybe, because the weather was colder than usual, she wanted to feed the birds. There are so many of them flitting about from tree to ground and back again. Could be she’s noticed the yellow and white long-haired feral cat that scavenges the neighborhood looking for a bite. It would be just like her to sacrifice her meal for that poor wanderer. Everyone else fears him because he might be mad.
Scenario #2–Emma had a hard time getting out of bed this morning. Mommy had to call her several times. She wanted to get up the first time but she was so tired. Mommy and Daddy fought again last night. Emma has noticed that the fights are happening more often and getting louder. She wishes Daddy wouldn’t hit Mommy. She wishes Mommy wouldn’t make him mad. This morning, because Emma couldn’t wake up, she didn’t have time to eat. She had to catch the bus to school because her mom didn’t have a car to drive her. Daddy wouldn’t allow Mom to have a car. Mom, rushing to the bus stop to give her daughter breakfast, watched sadly as the bus pulled away from the curb. She didn’t have the heart to take it back inside.
I have mentioned before that usually when I write my fingers go places and my brain tags along. I think I wrote #2 because domestic violence was on my mind. My blogger friend Kim writes passionately about and against such violence and its devastation to families and communities. Her passion has led me to take up the cause in some small way. Several years ago I volunteered for a time as a Guardian ad litem. (1-866-341-1425) My perspective is from the child’s point of view because, as a Guardian ad litem, I was a voice in the court system for children who were often victims of domestic violence. Thank you, Kim, for reawakening my awareness. It certainly has put my divorce in perspective.
National Domestic Violence Hotline–1-800-799-SAFE(7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224