SHLOMIT REMEMBERS. Shlomit remembers the slaps at the back of the legs by Mother’s wet hand.

Sins must be punished, Father said, lounging in the armchair by the fire. She had asked for more pudding, milky, white, warm to fill her small stomach, the stinging hot flesh, Mother’s hand striking slaps one, two and three. Straight to bed, none of the stories, no supper, no tea. She recalls that dark room, the cold bed, the smell of nightclothes over worn, infrequently washed, the aching head. She remembers that more than once, always that hand wet, flesh exposed, the slaps thrice, painfully given, not nice. She recalls

the hand marks left behind, red on white, carves or thighs, the stinging sensation, the shame of it all and them arguing down the darken hall.