The year had been difficult. Looking back, it was hard to find anything good. He’d lost his job, and now they could lose the house.

His father’s face haunted him. That gravelly voice.

“What a joke.”

“You’re a failure.”

“The dog could do better than you.” Usually he’d been drunk, his eyes bloodshot, face red.

Little Billy wandered into the doorway. “Dadda!” he called, teetering halfway across the room before falling. The boy started to cry.

He rushed over to Billy, picked him up, and kissed his head. “Don’t cry,” he said, cuddling his son. “Look how far you ran!”

Faye Rapoport DesPres is the author of the memoir-in-essays Message From a Blue Jay and the Stray Cat Stories children’s book series. She is a graduate of the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing program and has taught literature and writing at Lasell University. Her creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry have appeared in a variety of literary journals, including Ascent, Bending Genres, Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, Hamilton Stone Review, and Superstition Review. A life-long animal and wildlife advocate, Faye donates a portion of the proceeds from her children’s books to non-profit animal rescue organizations. Website: Twitter: @FayeRapoDesPres.


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