Here’s the next installment. It’s difficult to create connected segments, each of which stands alone. Perhaps in the editing process I can achieve this. It’s something to shoot for–just because.

She Doesn’t Know Them
By Laura McHale Holland

I sit on the bank, bare feet dangling in the bracing water, and I listen to the gurgles, always changing yet always the same, eternal. Though they lived far from here, sometimes I hear my ancestors’ voices in the wind, beside the river rocks, in the rustle of dogwood branches overhead.

It turns out the brown-eyed girl I thought was orphaned, the one I came to know between errands for the guy I thought was her dad, the girl I came to love, that girl, has a birth mother who never chose to give her up: a young mother who was locked in a basement and couldn’t search for her baby. She has a grandma and grandpa who have missed her too. It is their right to have her; she is their blood. But she doesn’t know them.

The social worker told me, “Stay away. Chloe is where she belongs now.” Chloe. The name suits her, though I liked to call her Pia because her eyes reach into the soul, like Edith Piaf’s songs playing on a foggy Sunday morning.

I see no path before me. So I wait at the river, seeking wisdom as the sun sets. I can see Chloe spurning her grandmother’s cookies, shrinking from her grandfather’s hugs while her mother, rescued just one week ago, is sedated in an upstairs bedroom where she was tucked in every night of her childhood. And the media, stationed at front and back doors, has the family under siege.


All of the episodes in this series in the order in which they were posted follow:

Back pocket wishes

Cascading to the sea

Right through the heart

Away today?

A dime a dozen

She doesn’t know them

On the seat

A pillar of the community

He needs a friend

Double rainbow

The one he always wants to hear

Give it some time

It gives my life meaning


Extenuating circumstances

 The four of us