General Non-Fiction posted July 8, 2022

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A child's harrowing experience

Wishful Thinking

by Sandra Nelms-Ludwig

Tired at an early age.
So tired of a family
who from Monday thru Saturday
played creditable
loveless roles.
Hated each other is perhaps too strong a statement.
However, only by a few shades of indifference.
At church, for Sunday offerings “Praise the Lawd,
love the heavenly father and all he created” was served.
She was so tired
at an early age of aging.
She thought survival until 21 was an impossibility.
She pressed the red dotted spot on the flat metal tin
of genuine Bayer aspirins
with not timid but determined terminating thumbs.
Took a gulp of water
and swallowed one white liberating tablet after another.
Repeat, repeat, repeat until all 12 pills were gone.
She hallucinated throughout the night.
Won’t gonna be no stomach pumped.
Father said, “she shouldn’t have done it, and I need my sleep.”
Mother didn’t want the church folks to know.
She gave the chap vomiting medicine, ipecac.
The child dreamed disengaging death
delivered what she desired.
At dawn she awoke.
Even death didn’t want her 9-year-old body.
Even death denied her wish.


A Harrowing Experience contest entry


Her first and only attempt to leave this world. She's a survivor.
Chap is a common term in many rural southern black communities for a child of either sex. It's a colloquialism. It's a term one hears daily and especially during the era this person was a child.
In the Merriam Webster.
Definition of chap (Entry 4 of 5)
1chiefly British : FELLOW sense 4c
2Southern US and Midland US : BABY, CHILD
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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