When I was 8

The view from the top of the street was narrow and steep
At the bottom there was a huge wooded field that had a
small entrance shaped like a cave
Big black bats would fly around at night

On the right side of the street were apartments
Old red brick buildings with little or no character
The wooden steps squeaked and the hallway smelled of old people

We lived on the second floor in a cramped one bedroom
I hated sleeping on the living room floor with my sister
Why didn't I have my own bedroom?

I never went out back to play because the
only view we had was of Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital
I was always afraid that the patients would escape and come after me

I played across the street where the grass was greener
The prettier side, the wealthier side. In my mind I lived there too
It was our house with the big yellow kitchen and a bay window so wide that you could see the entire neighborhood

It was our staircase that led to three huge bedrooms on the second floor; the pink one was mine. The one with the big white canopy bed and the pink and white ruffled bed skirt.
I especially liked the pink lamp, shaped like a pair of ballerina slippers. And I had my very own bathroom.

I hated when my mother called my name. I knew that it was time to come home. Back to the other side, the unattractive side, the dark and lonely side.