This is where it all began. This hospital. The infamous intersection that erased my past and led me to what is now known as foster care.
Where they probed us. Touched us. Held us down to check our fevers through anal thermometers. Where my brothers fought for a chocolate chip cookie that fell to the floor. Where my 1 year sister cried from the constant inspection. This is where my mother was separated from us and interrogated in another room. Where we were left to the hands of nurses and doctors who pinched, and plucked, and yanked at the six children, all of whom were under the age of 4.
This is where it all ended. Where my hands were caressed by a social worker and led out of the main emergency room doors. Where they piled five toddlers in a back seat and an infant in the lap of the person who rode on the front passer side. Where one by one we were dropped off to random homes under the blanket of night. Where I asked “adonde estas mami?”.
This is where it all began to end. Where the doors are now cemented shut. Where the busted windows whispers the stories of neglected children. Where the rust now sits at the roof bleeding its amber tears over the side and down the walls. Where I once walked the halls in search for a bathroom but instead guided away. Walking pass a room where mother slumped over the bed, drowsy from either the drugs she took earlier or possibly the drugs forced on her- to stop her fight.
A structure of cement and glass and wood with long held secrets. A permanent stain in my memory. It stood and still stands one block from where I was raised. I, never knowing, never asking and never wanting to remember such a place- until that one day I took a long hard look at it. Stood a block away and stared until my eyes watered. I remembered that place and I shivered.
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