The borrowed child

I once borrowed
A child/you could say
She was lent to me
her mother was a drug addict…I believed in the system…believed a caseworker…needed infinite

This is not a poem.

She held the world in her eyes
And all the treasure I could have
Begged, borrowed, stolen
I would have traded for her

My in-between child

The little boy whose mother is a chalk angel
Lying beneath
The chaos of war

The little girl who believes the old man in the white car
Who does not really ever
Need her help to find a puppy

The baby glued to a wall
Broken like a vase on the hard stones
Another woman
Laid down on the floor

she would have been a good mother…

It is the thing we call
A person who could do that to a child

My baby

He pulls the crystal bowl
Out as I am turned askew

His father viewed this as s trinket
And did not hide it away
High where it could not be reached

Shatters in an instant
And we both
Stand amidst the shards

I say
It is not fair

And scoop him into arms
His siblings distract him from the wreckage

And I sweep up the mess.
Put poultices on the ground

Pretending for a moment
That there is a magic word
For love
Stronger than

I would reach you
With my arms if I could
With my words if I must
Like walking on water
If I have to…

Resort to prayer.


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