Thursday, July 19, 2007

"I Don't Want to Go to Jail When I Grow Up,"

Teya said today
after I had just heard that NPR report
about how kids who have
one parent in jail
have an 80-some percent chance
of going there themselves
but if you have two parents--
your chances are in the 90s.

A legacy to always
lurk in the shadows
playing hide and go seek
until you turn eighteen.

Just last week
we talked about the place down the street
where women go to recover from addiction
after we helped out in the new garden

when my mom gets out of jail
she could go there

Teya said
But if all those ladies do drugs
don't they just buy from each other?

I'd like to give Teya
a storybook mama
who reads stories and bakes cookies,
gives a her a kiss goodnight
Someone who can fill the swiss cheese holes
of her little girl heart

I wonder if I will be here again
sitting with Teya's daughters
on a stormy day in July
hearing these same words
circling back to this moment

I cross my fingers
send out a little prayer
and gaze across the roofs of the city
looking for hope