Columbus, Ohio

I’m in Columbus, not that I have any idea what the city is like, and I won’t by the time I leave either.  Here to do a day of training for domestic violence advocates on working with child protective services (I developed an expertise over the decades of my work at the Coalition on the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child abuse and neglect), I came straight to the Fairfield Inn in the big box store outskirts of the city when I arrived yesterday, the conference center is directly behind this hotel, and I’ll leave directly for the airport when I’m done today.  I hear it’s a nice city.

I did get to ride with a friendly and interesting cab driver yesterday.  He’s from Ethiopia, fought as a guerilla rebel and got injured, and came to this country in the 80’s.  Although he’s 62 years old, he has three children under the age of 14.  “I was late to marry,” he said.

He asked where I’m from, why I was here, how were my travels?  I told him about leaving my job in June, that I’m still doing some work in the field of domestic violence and sexual assault, but that I’m also writing and spending as much time as possible with my grandson.  “He’s the most beautiful baby boy in the universe,” I said and he laughed.

It was a sweet laugh, because the cab driver understood, Emilio really is.


About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
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