When My Mother Held the Sears Door Open for Me

[creative nonfiction]

I wanted to follow my brothers and sisters through. I did not mean to walk into the glass door beside the open one. My body, though slight, could not slip between its molecules; I shattered that crystal barrier. I created the shards that brought the pain and the blood drops and the shame.

It was gray rain that day, and almost dusk-time, and so my eyes were more blurry than normal; they were always blurry because we were practicing faith in God and not doctors, but this was worse. And I saw my mom, saw her dark line of an arm extending from her body, deduced that she was holding the door, but I chose the wrong one.

A male employee carried my nine-year-old body, which I had thought weak but knew then had a conquering power of solidity. He brought me to a back room, for employees only, where he used a first-aid kit to mend my cuts.

No second aid would follow because God was trusted instead. I have two physical scars: on my nose, on my knee.

When I was lifted high above the staring shoppers, I buried my face in my hero’s shirtsleeve and pretended this did not happen, that I wasn’t a pathetic half-blind girl but a princess in a parade. My blood could be rubies and not liquefied pain. My fear could be joy; the broken pieces of glass could be diamonds raining down on my unscarred face.

 

Sarah Broussard Weaver’s essays have been published in Full Grown People, Hippocampus, The Bitter Southerner, and The Nervous Breakdown, among others. She is an MFA candidate at Rainier Writing Workshop and lives in Portland, Oregon.