I had a daughter once, well I guess I still do somewhere.
She was taken by social services. People stopped looking me in the eye, in the
face: stopped looking at me at all.

I have a husband, I know where he is, he is in the hospital,
in the ward we don’t talk about. People gossip about him, about his truth,
about his lies.

I have a house, I live there alone, two bedrooms sparkling
clean. I don’t sleep in them, I don’t sleep at all. I sit in a sparklingly
clean house waiting for visitors. People don’t stop by, they act like they don’t
know I’m here.

I know what I did and didn’t do, I know what I am. Rumours
fly in the town, faster and faster-creating momentum. I have to hold onto the
knowing, my knowing.

Rebecca is my daughter’s name. She wasn’t brought to the
funeral, I wonder if she was told. I hope one day she will come to my house and
see the sparkling bedrooms. I will tell her my truth. I will tell her the
truth. I hope she hears me. I hope she listens.

Dodie Masters, my next-door neighbour comes in once a week,
dusting and polishing. When she comes in this room she shivers but she does not
look me in the eye, she does not see me.