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Gerri Ravyn Stanfield

Guest Posts, The Body

Wild Thing

December 15, 2017
bear

By Gerri Ravyn Stanfield

I had to kneel and stand, kneel and stand and plant my sore butt on an unforgiving wooden bench. I turned the thin white hymnal pages, to reveal the Christmas music I couldn’t read. My belly felt hollow and electric when they sang to the blue and gold stained glass, the vaulted ceiling. Jesus was my crush. I liked to move the characters around in the small nativity scene in our living room. I hooked up Mary and the tallest wise man, introduced the shepherds to the angels. I prayed that Mary would stop my mom from yelling and my father from taking off his belt. That morning, my brother stole the chapter book I was reading and wouldn’t give it back. I grabbed his worn out teddy bear and positioned my left hand like a claw over the bear’s head to rip it off. It was a hostage situation and we negotiated it like the villains we were. We never voluntarily involved our parents but my father burst in and unbuckled his belt. My child body shrieked flee, fly, run, swim. You can’t win a fight. You have teeth and claws and red fur but you are outmatched. You have to be smarter than they are, you have to find the exits or contort yourself into the most bendable postures to escape. He made me drop my underpants and expose my pale butt. Through some secret formula, he knew how many times to hit us per offense, but I never saw a law book. Now, we all sang in church for the birthday of my buddy, Jesus. I shifted in my seat from one cheek to the other every few minutes and prayed for it to be done. Continue Reading…

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