"I was squeezing my eyes shut, trying to blank out all memory of my first day at school in the new town. But instead of fading the ugly whisper grew louder until it rang like a shout in my head."
"Years later I heard that her husband beat her and that she drank but I hated her with a simply purity the morning she walked into out kitchen, not even scraping the mud off her boots, her mouth pursed and smug as she informed my mother that she was the landlady."
[One drizzly night I woke up from a fitful sleep. That day in the schoolyard the clannish group of English girls were poiting at me and my new skirt, several inches too long. Even in my sleep I seemed to hear a constant whispered titter that made me squirm.]
"The ugly whisper of the cloakroom crawled into my head again. "Dirty Bohunk." I left the room where Mom and Daddy were talking loudly and angrily, not wanting to hear anymore about the landlady."
"I was angry with my Mom too, for nodding so eagerly, for being so fearful. I ignored her when she came up to my room to offer comfort, company and hot tea."
"I the eldest, am tall and adolescently weedy, wearing a wilted aster in my hair which at the time I thought looked chic. The next day I wore one to school but after enduring the giggles of my classmates all morning I tore it out of my hair and threw it in the garbage."