"We children, of course, were only vaguely aware of the extent of our poverty. After our few chores around the tumbledown shanty, Joey and I were free to run wild in the sun with the other children similarly situated. I remember fishing for minnows in a muddy creekand watching sadly as the eluded my cupped hands, while Joey laughed uproariously."
"And I remember, that year, a strange restlessness of body and of spirit, a feeling that something old and familiar was ending, and something unknown and therefore terrifying was beginning. One day returns to me with special clarity for some reason, perhaps it was the beginning of the experience that in spme inexplicable way marked the end of innocence."
"Until now I had not thought of going out. I had indeed lost my mind, for all the smoldering emotions of that summer swelled in me and burst. That violent, crazy act was the last act of childhood. Miss Lottie was then a broken old woman who had dared to create beauty in the midst of uglieness and sterility. She had been born in squalor and lived in it all her life."