“Mama,” Evan whispers. “Tell me a story about when I was a baby, please.”
I snuggle up behind him on the mattress his father and I once shared and sigh, knowing that what he really means is he wants a story about Before.
“Oh sweet baby boy, it’s late. How ’bout we just say our prayers?”
This time it’s his turn to sigh, “OK Mama.”
As I listen to him thank God for me, for the green beans I managed to sneak from the school garden I once tended, for his Hot Wheels car clutched in his fist, my mind wanders to the days when Michael and I were clueless adults, blissfully ignorant to the misery we would be bequeathing our son by bringing him into this world.
I spoon Evan closer as if I can somehow return him to the safety of my womb.
“When will Daddy be home?”
In the months since he was led away by men doing their job because Michael chose to do his, I’ve held out hope that we would see him again, but the recent chatter left little doubt of my husband’s fate.
Evan’s spine presses deep into my ribs. Our end is near, so again, I choose to lie.
“I don’t know, sweetheart, but I do know that Daddy is doing everything he can to come back to us. Now close your eyes, and have sweet dreams about that day, OK?”
My arm acts as a pillow as Evan’s breathing eventually mirrors mine. I smooth his hair from his forehead with my free hand. Fingertips linger on the scar their dirty needle left behind – a crude “1” – the mark of a child paying for the alleged sins of his father.
I close my eyes to dream of Heaven.
This week, we’d like you to write a piece in which a tattoo figures prominently. Fiction or creative non-fiction. There is a lot to think about: why someone would get one, what they chose, when they got it, what message does the tattoo(s) send?
You will have 300 words with which to play. Make sure you edit and adhere to the limit.
300 on the dot baby. Sorry for the dark spin, but #EatTheRich trending on Twitter really gave me pause. For the record, I’m neither part of the 1%, nor the 99.
For far better words, visit my friends and click a link at Write on Edge.