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Mother's Medicine

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Mother’s Medicine
I come home from school to see a skinny man on my porch. Skinny Man, with holes at the elbows, stains on the knees. He wears worn hiking boots held together with duct tape, strings as laces. He asks for my Mother and cries for his medicine. He is just sitting here. All upset. I go inside to find my Mother. There are three more people inside my house with my Mother in the kitchen giving her money and talking about their medicine. One lady has a long, blue scarf on, the color of my sand pail. It looks soft. I want to reach out and feel the fabric. The man shakes. His eyes dart around, following, watching. My Mother sends them away when I come in.
Is there anyone else outside? my Mother asks.
Yes, I say. And tell her about the man crying on the porch who needs his medicine.
She sighs and goes to her room to get her medicine. I begin making peanut butter sandwiches with the battered bread I brought home. The baker sells it to us cheap since no one wants it smooshed. There’s a creek on the porch. The door smashes open. I duck under the counter because that’s what my Mother tells me to do, if bad things happen just hide under the counter and wait for me to find you. She doesn’t come. I hear a thump. Screams. A scuffle. The door bangs again, and I crawl out. Medicine spilled all across the floor. Mother doesn’t answer. She sleeps.



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