Hero Child

 
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Foreword: A Hero Child
Chapter 1
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Published by Barabara Press
   

 

escaping
written in Chicago, 1992

forty-two years old, I have moved back to Chicago by myself
I have left my marriage, both children are in college
for the first time in my life I live by myself

one morning as I perceive awakening in my bed

 

I watch my cat playing a cruel game with a bird
catching it—threatening its life
then letting it go—over and over again

then the cat climbs on my bed and turns into a man
who is lying down on me, pressing me down, suffocating me
I am terrified
in this moment I feel that the man is real
and that my life is in danger

as I lie there, afraid for my life, wondering what to do
a long time passes—until I realize—
I am at home
lying safely in my bed
no one is on top of me—no one is with me
I am alone and safe

as I immediately write down what seemed to me
as if it was truly happening, like a hallucination, a waking dream
I realize that the cat is my mother, the bird is me
the cat turns into my first husband
who became an overpowering presence in my life
which almost suffocated me
I have escaped them both

© Barbara Rogers

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Screams from Childhood