I’m not quite ready to leave childhood.
At six, I was a talker, laughing easily. Mrs. McDonald reprimanded me.
“Julie, pay attention to your own arithmetic- don’t reach across the aisle.”
“But Donald is showing me a funny picture he’s drawing of a dog with two heads.”
I continued to giggle. “Julie!”
The teacher took me by the arm and led me back to the cloak closet. She put tape on my mouth
and left me among the snowsuits and boots for 10 minutes.
That night I taped the mouth of Yvonne, my favorite doll and rolled her crib into my closet.
“You are bad!” I scolded.

Je ne suis pas prête à abandonner mon enfance.
A six ans, je parlais beaucoup, riant facilement. Mme. McDonald m’a réprimandée.
“Fais attention à ton propre devoir- ne t’occupe pas des autres pupitres.”
Je rigolais encore un peu. “Julie!”
L’institutrice m’a saisie par le bras en me menant au fond de la salle de classe, m’a scotché la bouche au
vestiaire et m’y a déposée 10 minutes parmi les vestes d’hiver et les bottes.
Cette nuit-là j’ai scotché la bouche d’Yvonne, ma poupée favorite, et je l’ai roulée dans son berceau dans mon placard.
“Tu es méchante.” Je l’ai grondée.

2 thoughts on “INTO THE CLOSET

  1. This is horrific behaviour – condoned in those times, yet the scars of such punishments last a long time. I noted this once when a group of teachers were chatting over tea after a workshop on a completely different topic. One would not sing – even in church – because a teacher had made her stand in a wire rubbish basket to illustrate how awful her voice was … and so other experiences came to the fore. Your writing is very powerful, Julie.


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