Once again, women whose writings appear in HEAR ME, SEE ME: Incarcerated Women Write gathered for a reading, this time at Burlington’s Tenth Annual Book Festival. To a rapt audience of about 50 gathered in a semi-circle in the city’s Fletcher Free Library, four women read of their lives.
One shared a moving story of working in daycare with an autistic boy where she alone understood him; to the extent that, when she changed jobs, the parents moved the boy so he could continue to work with her! And at the time she was just 15 years old.
Another traced her life like the many layers like an onion, ‘until I too am buried under the ground like the onion root that grows new life to the next generation.’
A third read of life inside ‘caged like animals at the zoo, being watched, on display . . . they watch us sleep, they hear us roar. Just our thoughts they can’t keep . . .’
And a fourth read a moving prayer which starts ‘It’s me, your daughter . . . me whom you loved, no matter the number of my faults.’ Sitting directly in front of her with barely contained emotion at the words coming from her daughter’s mouth, her mother wept for the gift of getting her daughter back.
Thank you to all you strong and beautiful women for sharing your lives and your hearts before an audience of strangers, each of whom left the room changed – and charged – by your courage. [Photos courtesy Lisa Ritter]