Friday, October 26, 2007
EXCERPT FROM "AND THE WHIPPORWILL SANG." A memoir, by Micki Peluso
excerpt from AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG_
Forgive me not
A soft tapping at my front door . . . I am alone. I know before I open it who
is standing there. My shotgun is loaded and ready to fire. I feel calm.
He steps into my carpeted foyer, stops beneath the hand-carved sculptured
chestnut archway. Crafted right before the blight destroyed those lovely trees,
the hundred-year-old farmhouse is enhanced by its beauty.Each detail of the
entranceway is the seared into my mind.
Except for him. His face, a countenance I refuse to ever gaze upon, is a
blur,as he removes his cap and lowers his head.
“Maam, won’t you please forgive me this time?
I can’t go on living without it.”
“Don’t worry, you won’t.” My voice flat, no emotion.
He slumps to the floor, as I recoil from the impact of the weapon.
I awake in a sweat. Calmness replaced by a rage I cannot name. It tears
through my body like a thing alive. The dream is always the same.
This drunken loser took my sweet Noelle’s life, breaking her neck with the
mirror of his pick-up truck. The impact sent her flying 20 feet into the air,
smashing her face down on the country lane. The stain of her blood never washes
It was a brilliant sunny August afternoon. Noelle, fourteen, going on fifteen
had just fallen in love for the first time-puppy love. She was radiant. Fate
screwed up, leaving this child/woman with her life before her, in a semi-coma
for ten days on life support. I could not disconnect her, nor watch her lie in
a prison of hopelessness. I
summoned the courage to tell her it was okay to go toward the light.
Awake, I forgive him, for there is no room in my heart for hatred or anger--
grief and sorrow saturate my soul.
The drunkard will come again and knock upon my door. I would prefer to break
his neck,letting him suffer her loss, nothing left but eyes not quite seeing,
distant, yet a perfect, sound mind. Shooting him is too easy, too quick a
vengeance and one he might prefer.
His teenage years, were troubled, I hear. A stretch in Vietnam pushes him
into a life of alcohol and drugs. I contemplate the irony. My husband, brothers,
sons and relatives were all spared from from serving in Vietnam. Yet this
senseless ”police action” takes the life of my daughter twenty years later. A
stranger, so affected by that conflict, destroys my daughter and himself as well.
Yes, I forgive him, except in my dreams and as long as I never see his face.
This killer comes again and again, knocking at my door. I shoot him again and
again, until one night in my dreams, anger gives way to true forgiveness,
setting us both free.
Published by Light Sword Publishing