: Three Women :

an excerpt by Kirk Nesset

 

Emily Stone

 

As a child she had a punching bag shaped like a clown.  She’d whack it hard but it would rebound, still stupidly grinning.  They lived in Catford then, and then Brixton.  It rained so hard those days the house would get flooded.  Years later she wound up in Sussex.  She worked driving bus; she did fast food and fitness.  Now she helps people with disabilities.  She received a City and Guilds degree in Advanced Care Management.  Behavior modification is one of her specialties.  Actually, she did not do well in school.  She practiced drug-taking and drinking and escaping through poetry.  She lived with gangs in the city.  In London.  Bandannas, graffiti.  People were killed, though she didn’t kill any.  Now she lives with a doctor in Kent.  It’s true he helped in the rescue, but the truth is she rescued herself.  As do we all.  She’s blessed to live in this house with its hedgerows and fence and game room and guest rooms and gym and a place for her painting and poetry.