Shoshanna Wingate

Saturday Family Picnics

I learned how to pick locks in prison. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon; the adults were drunk and some had paired off to have sex in tents pitched on the lawn. I was sitting on the scratched wooden pew of a picnic table, playing backgammon by myself. I shuffled the pieces back and forth on the board and tried to shut out the moans ten feet away, the barbed wire on the fences, the prisoners eating cold chicken with their families at the other tables.

I was ten years old. I didn’t know where my father was. Maybe in one of the tents. Maybe pissing on the side of the building.

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