The Prisoner's Daughter

What if your dad had been doing time for murder for as long as you'd known him?

Amanda Rosario remembered a big gray room, and she remembered the smell of it. She hated the smell of it. She was on her mom's lap, she remembered, and her dad sat across from them. Her mom wore dark jeans and her dad had a thin face. That's all she remembered of the last time she saw him. She was three at the time.

She was six when she figured out that the big gray room was inside a prison and that her dad was in prison. There was no single moment of enlightenment. She learned the information gradually, in pieces she had to put together. She was a perceptive child, headstrong and curious. When adults gathered in the living room or kitchen, she eavesdropped behind a wall. They often talked about her dad, and when they did their voices were sad. They talked about visiting him. She sometimes heard them mention the word "prison."

Celeste Sloman
When Amanda, age 13, saw her dad for the first time in eight years, she burst into tears.
Courtesy Rosario Family
When Amanda, age 13, saw her dad for the first time in eight years, she burst into tears.
Minerva Godoy and her daughters, Chrystal (left) and Amanda, wait for Richard Rosario to be freed from prison.
Celeste Sloman
Minerva Godoy and her daughters, Chrystal (left) and Amanda, wait for Richard Rosario to be freed from prison.

Read the full story in this week's Village Voice.

 
My Voice Nation Help
 
New York Concert Tickets
Loading...