fire, rats, love

we lived on the top floor of
Linsdale apartments in 1974
no elevator
many flights of stairs
long dark hallway at the top
she pulled me through darkness
to the last apartment on the left
I wasn’t scared though.
Mama tightened her grip of my hand

many nights I climbed on Mama
while she talked on the phone
i put barrettes in her hair
she was so sweet to me
I was a good girl
she says now that she
doesn’t know what happened
to her Tweety baby

she screamed whenever she
sees a critter on the floor
she wouldn’t let me look
she was terrified
from my high chair
I saw only a long mop string
hanging from under the stove
it was a rat tail

Papa came over to trap him
and throw him away
the things daddy’s do for their baby girls

I wake to The blare of sirens
Mama says there is a fire across the hall
she carries me down to the street
we watch as the flame blazes out of the top floor windows
who lived there
we never talked to them
I’m scared
Mama says it’s safe to go back in
the fire is out
I’m scared
My Papa comes to get me

This is what daddy’s do for their baby girls

Next Blog: two men and an army nurse.

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