The full moon lit our path. With my sister clenched 

to her left waist side and me holding her right hand, my 

mother crossed the shallow rocky river. I can not recall 

what we were running away from, but I do know it had 

something to do with death.

	Years later I found myself in front of a man accusing 

me of being the black sheep of the family. And in the most 

miserable days of my life I would think of reasons to 

murder this man, my step father, and in the many different 

ways I would do it, I came up with the following reasons......

	because you have stolen my mother's love

	because you have stolen my sleep

	because you have caused me pain.

	because I fear you

	because you make me angry

	because you make me sad

	because you hurt the ones I love

	because you cause me pain

	because you dissolve my dreams

	because I hate you

	because I resent you

	because you exist

	because if you exist, I can not

	because if you exist, I can not

	because if you exist, I can not

	because if you exist, I can not

Then I came up with the different ways I would murder him


	There was a butcher's knife and under my pillow I would 

keep it. Whenever he got close to my bed, I held this knife 

really tight. I always gave warnings, I twisted and moaned 

to let him know I was awakening. But I was ready, for if he 

stayed I was prepared to stab him in the heart.

	He always shot his gun whenever he was drunk.  There were 

two bronze bullets that I found one night.  These two bullets 

were his. I always thought of shooting these two forgotten 

bullets into him.

	Dark, light, lonely nights when mother was not around, 

I would simply twist and turn, and now I know this is what 

always changed his mind and he walked away and kept away. 

--Ana Chavez