Jienna's Reviews > Out of the Dust

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
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Mar 28, 12

Read from April 01 to 21, 2011 — I own a copy, read count: 2

The first book I've read after "the incident" is Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. I grabbed this book from a shelf at the children's section in Booksale. After speed-reading the back cover ... Billie Jo... not a boy ... family ... dust ... piano... losing mom... and the P45 price tag, I thought it's worth a try since I haven't read a book for a long time now. I think I've seen this book in those shelves before but I have just been engrossed in other things that I did not buy Out of the Dust.

So, fast-forward to the afternoon after. I have finished reading the book. I was trying very hard not to shout out loud. I was in our office sleeping lounge. Obviously not sleeping,
but trying very hard to hide the fitful sobs coming out.

The books was written in verse, poem format. But somehow, I still got the feel and the emotion of the story. I have never been that much appreciative of poetry. (But that's just me.) And here comes out of the dust. I reached this page....

If Ma could put her arms across my shoulder
sometime,
or stoke back my hair,
or sing me to sleep, making the soft sounds,
the reassuring noises,
that no matter how brittle and sharp life seemed,
no matter how brittle and sharp she seemed,
she was still my ma who loved me,
then I think I wouldn't be so eager to go.
March 1935


I was wailing deep inside. Only I could not because I will be disturbing the people sleeping around me. I felt how depressing and hot and draining it may have been in the 1930s. It was as if Karen Hesse was speaking and wrote down exactly what I was feeling at that exact time. Sigh.


The 1930s was a long time ago, but the loss, losing hope... I thought I will always be able to react to it and cope with it when it happens to me. I know I have cope somehow sometime. I just hope it all unfolds well... and when that time comes, I can say this:


As we walk together,
side by side,
in the swell of the dust,
I am forgiving him,
step by step,
for the pail of kerosene.
As we walk together,
side by side,
in the sole-deep dust,
I am forgiving myself
for all the rest.
August 1935
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