Monday, January 08, 2007

From Greensboro

The twins stopped by to say hello and happy new year
and tell about Lawanna, who is popular, and Lawanda,
who is not and about the knife Lawanda brought to school
and the ten days of suspension and all the books
they haven’t been reading ‘cause they do worksheets instead.

I shake my head and say, “You KNOW better.
Don’t ever take a knife to school, do you know what could
happen?” I scold and fuss, purse my lips
imagine their story a sharp documentary—
compelling characters and one bad choice.

They know, they know, they know it was a bad idea
for Lawanda to hold it for Lawanna who was just going
to show it to some other girl and scare her. Of course they know
but they are newly thirteen
they could balance the world on the tip of a finger
their hearts purple and brave
and this, their only protection.

There is only today
bright and strong
without tomorrow.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my. that's scary, but also wonderful how they come to you and share these details of their lives. You should be very proud of the impression you've made in their lives.

(and thank you for being such a voice of encouragement on my blog. you have no idea how much that keeps me motivated!)

9:38 PM  
Anonymous jen said...

you make scary things whimsical..and how quite alright is that given there is enough fright going on already.

thirteen. it used to be so damn young.

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't know what to be more concerned about...the knife at school...or them not reading because of all the worksheets they do.

sigh.

9:06 PM  
Anonymous L. Monique said...

This is wonderful. I feel like I know these girls. I hope there is hope for them. Thanks for wonderful words.

6:11 PM  

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