Sometimes I close my eyes and see my home, not the wretched confinement I'm forced to call home, but my real and true home. I can see the house, bright and trimmed, clean and neat. Little bushes on each side of the porch, with small yellow flowers that bloomed in the early, and later months of summer. The deep red shutters sending the house into a sense of calm.
There were three large elm trees in the front yard, standing strong and tall above the slightly grown grass where our dogs played with my siblings. One of these trees rested on the right corner of the house where a small wooden swing hung low on one of the larger branches. The other two, set on the left side of the house. The tree that was closer to the house was strong and living, while the other was dying in its old age. Through the center of the yard was a sidewalk, stretching from the driveway to the small porch.
It's times such as these that the memory of my home is most helpful for my sanity. But while memories like these are bright and happy, they bring on memories of the dark times that soon came after, dragging me into a deep spell of sadness and despair.
The day it happened we were sitting around the table eating supper that had just been made when They broke down the front door, bound us by chains, and drug us out to the front yard where they pushed us to our knees. We were forced to sit and watch them as they poured gasoline upon the house and let it catch fire, the flames licking the side of my dear home, teasingly eating it away. We sat there with no way to stop what was happening, my sister's tears and my mother’s stone face was all I needed to know that this wasn't going to end well.
As soon as my once beautiful and safe home was burnt to ashes and left there to smolder on the ground, we were blindfolded and thrown into what seemed to be a loader truck that my father once drove to transport cattle. There were many other people crammed in with us, and the cries of babies for their mothers, the groans of elders and the soft sobs of parents could be heard. Sitting where I was, I could feel the trembling shoulders of some poor soul crying. I remember taking their hand and holding it all the way to our destination.
At the time I had no idea what was going on, why we were being taken in such a terrible fashion and where our destination could be, but once we arrived I understood.
Now all that I have is a secluded one room concrete pad that has a single window that sits too high to stand and look out of, but if I lay down in the right position, I can see the sky. The soft blueness of the sky, the birds flying above me, as if to taunt me in such ways that are unbearable to such a soul that has seen as much neglect as myself.
Laying here, I can't stop watching the clouds move swiftly as the birds flutter around so freely, hoping that someday I'll be free once more, to roam the world as I once did. I’d give anything to touch the soft earth with my feet, to be able to fold grass under my weight, to run freely throughout a valley, and to feel the rush of air in my hair once more.
This was found on a stolen document underneath the dead body of an unknown person. The only form of identification was the small numbers 4095 burned into her arm right above her wrist.