Creative Writing Feature: Jessica Deputato

Senior Jessica Deputato hails from Jane Shore’s Intermediate Poetry 104 class.

Pleasant View Drive

My parents had just left
for my 3rd grade Back-to-School night
when the officer knocked on our front door.
Outside, men unraveled yellow tape
around my neighbors’ house
like birthday streamers.
Something happened next door,
the officer told my grandparents.
He asked us if we had seen anything,
but all I could see was a swollen
white bed sheet
wheeled across the walkway.
After he left, my grandparents and I
huddled by the window
until my parents came home.

I found the newspaper article
the next day in the kitchen drawer
where my mother had been hiding it.
The black ink smeared my fingers
as I read every last detail.
56 year old female stabbed.
12 times in the neck.
I heard my parents whispering
that her husband killed her
and I wondered if her French poodles
saw it happen. I remembered
learning to swim in her pool
as her husband grilled hamburgers.
I remembered sinking beneath
the bitter water until she pulled me up.

A year later, the tragedy faded.
My younger sister and I got rollerblades
for Christmas from Santa.
We guarded ourselves with pads and helmets,
and made rough circles around our backyard patio,
falling down and laughing. But then
my sister screamed. She had seen him,
our neighbor, walking down the driveway.
He grinned, holding a bottle of wine
with a crimson bow tied around
the neck.
When he left
my parents opened the bottle
and let the liquid flood the kitchen sink,
drowning the dishes
in a murky pool of red.

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