Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Green (10/22/09)
TITLE: The Grass Ain't Always Greener
By Debra Elliott
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I live in the ghetto. No grass exists, only concrete and asphalt.
My name is Summer Watson and where I live you ain't going to find any grass. No parks, no playgrounds, just run-down, ugly brown buildings the color of mud. No green grass, no blue skies,just rocks that cut your bare feet and clouds, dark as the night sky.
I long to live on the other side. I long to wiggle my toes in the thick green grass, but it ain't going to happen. My family is poor, “too poor to pay attention,” mama always says.
My pop works in the factory. My mama don't work, only pop. The factory is killing pop. Mama begged him to move us down South. I hear them fighting at night through my paper-thin wall.
“Ernestine, we can't just up and move.”
“Joe, the kids need a decent life! They need fresh air and sunshine.”
“We ain't moving!”
I could hear my mama crying. I didn't understand why we couldn't move.
I day dreamed about moving to the South, sunshine and blue skies. Green grass beneath my bare feet was all I could think about.
I heard a loud knock on the door. Mama was asleep with the baby. She always told me not to answer the door. I should have listened.
Mr. Carson, the factory boss stood at the door. “Where' s your mama child?”
“Go wake her up, now!”
I ran into the bedroom as fast as my legs would go. Before I even got to mama, I heard her screaming.
“What's wrong mama?” I heard myself say over and over.
“ Your daddy was in a terrible accident and he was killed.”
I couldn't breathe, I couldn't move.
My pop was dead! Not pop. It was a bad dream. He would come walking through the door any minute.
He didn't of course. The factory gave mama some money for “her trouble.”
Mama couldn't live in the projects anymore. She packed up our clothes and we took a Greyhound to my Aunt Mirtie's in Alabama.
I had longed to see the dark green grass growing in Alabama, but not now, not without Pop, the grass ain't always greener on the other side!
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