Read “Song,” a story about escape and what it sounds like

“I woke to the shock of the apartment door slamming. I thought at first that sleeping in that place again had brought me this familiar dream, but the phonograph needle screeched across the music and my father’s curses filled the place, vile, mad curses from an anger bigger and deeper than any cause I could reason.”

Physical abuse in families often manages to remain undetected. Bruises are covered, secrets kept. Children are left to make sense of it, to look for a cause. Have they done something wrong? In this story, a young girl is ashamed of having escaped her father’s rage. Her brother takes the brunt of it. At no point does she consider who’s truly at fault. Her father’s anger is a given, his privilege, a common thread that everyone else in the family is expected to make allowances for, be accountable for. “Song” is one of the opening stories of Pieces, a novel in stories which traces the consequences of absorbing the anger and guilt of having witnessed an abusive parent from an early age. The literary journal Belle Ombre has published “Song,” and you can read it here.