12.17.2008

My Abandonment


I submitted some poetry to Tin House, a literary magazine, at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, I did not win, so I didn't make it to publication (which was one of my new year's resolutions). But they did send me a volume of the magazine, filled with wonderful poetry, essays, and fiction. I've had the magazine, which is more like a book (it has a thick binder and contains at least 200 pages!), since July. I finally opened it up today! And, OMG, these people are good! I would have been so honored to have some of my poetry sharing pages with these people, but, well, anyway, that's another story, I guess.

Anyway, I read an excerpt from this soon-to-be-released book: My Abandonment by Peter Rock. It is his fictionalized version of a true story about how a Vietnam veteran and his young daughter live in a forest in Portland. I am totally buying this book when it comes out!

What struck me was the fact that he got his idea from something that really happened. Of course, I had to google the story. Go here to read a little snippet of the true story. The father did all he could to raise his daughter well, given the surroundings. He taught her using old encyclopedias. When tested, she was at a 12th grade level!
I couldn't find anything current on them, so I have no idea if they are still living in a little mobile home, or if they disappeared into the forest again.

Can you imagine?

This of course, got me thinking about a kiddo that was on a friend's caseload back when I was still at CPS. I don't know all the details, but she received a case where the mother had no birth certificate on her daughter, which isn't unusual. However, what made it so strange was that this mother admitted to giving birth to her daughter in a forest and that she never registered the girl's birth. She home schooled her daughter, so this child pretty much didn't exist on paper. No social security card, no school records, no shot records, never seen by a doctor.....It was so strange!

Can you imagine??

4 comments:

whymomdrinksrum.net said...

Ooo, that gave me chills! I think I'll have to read that one.

thecoconutdiaries said...

Oh, that sounds like a good premise for some new poetry!

BTW- I tempted at CPS for a bit between undergrad and grad school. After working there, I can say that you are a saint!

Hiya, I'm Kristie. said...

How odd! But I bet it's more common than we think.

Raven said...

That is an amazing story!