“For part of my life I lived in the south working as a farmhand. I remember having to get up with the sun, very early in the morning. we would pack up food and go to work in the fields all day. We worked daily until the sun went down. It was so hot. Often I worked barefoot. I remember how hot the earth was beneath my feet. Every day I felt hopeless.
Some days my family was so tired when we got home that nobody wanted to make anything to eat. The only thing we had to eat was the fruit or vegetables that we had picked that god damn day. There was no such thing as sunscreen in my family. my sister, my brothers and I would be so sunburned that we would actually get sores on our skin. I remember one summer having huge sores on each of my shoulders for days.
Some mornings, we were so tired and sore we could barely get out of bed. My father would come in and hit us with switches. It was an extremely shocking and violent way to wake up. Going to school was out of the question most of the time. We either didn’t have clean clothes to go to school in or didn’t have the money to clean the clothes so we had to go to work. We also couldn’t go to school if we had too many bruises, which often was the case.
I feel like I missed out on a lot of my childhood.
Oddly, I still like to work in my garden barefoot. I love the feeling of the earth. I feel like the earth was the only thing that understood me.” -Jane Doe. (Rob and Tracy Sydor)