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

Maybe
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




16 Comments:

Anonymous shelley said...

this sent chills down my spine... hang in there - you are giving her hope.

10:39 AM  
Blogger d.meister said...

Your poems are beautiful..
And murals from this and from one of your previous posts,too..I like murals and graffiti and other kinds of street-art..there is sometimes to find pieces of real art and life-wisdom..don't you think so?
d.meister
(flyinamber.blogspot.com)

11:26 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

nice to have you back...

5:49 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

girl...
i had to wipe tears from my eyes just now...teya is so precious and so fragile...

sigh.

glad you posted. although it makes me miss you all even more so.

give all the girls a hug for me and tell them i love them.

and, in case i haven't told you lately, you rawk times infinity...
let's get together soon... xo

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Emily,
This is so poignant but after this weekend I think there is a lot of hope in your part of the city. You are doing an amazing job.I have so missed your writing. Love you.
iocm

2:40 PM  
Blogger Hel said...

Like always your post moved my heart.

7:24 AM  
Blogger angela said...

i always have to come back later to comment because your posts steal my breath.
bless your heart, you are a wonderful teacher and i am sure so important to those little ones (i swear i'm not an old lady, i'm just at a loss for words)

10:29 PM  
Blogger January said...

I've said it before, those girls are lucky to have you as an advocate.

Beautiful poem. Hope you are enjoying the summer.

11:43 AM  
Blogger snowsparkle said...

"fill the swiss cheese holes
of her little girl heart"

the heart in these words are beyond beautiful. whenever i think the world is a completely messed-up place... all i have to do is think of you and i know there is hope. big hugs, snowsparkle

12:47 AM  
Blogger Hel said...

I came back to read this and then I cried a second time.

I too am sending a prayer that she will be different. That she becomes the wonderful woman she shows promise of becoming.

And that you find hope.

1:29 PM  
Anonymous my backyard said...

very touching

2:24 PM  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

This poem is beautiful, inspiring and important, The photo is a perfect accompaniment.

3:07 AM  
Blogger flyinamber said...

where you are so long,Emily?

6:58 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

sigh.
i keep coming here to see if you have written....

i miss your words.

aaaand. i miss you.

8:52 AM  
Blogger angela said...

me too.
i miss your words...

9:14 PM  
Blogger snowsparkle said...

crossed fingers and a little prayer... coming from you, they will work magic! love this piece. thanks and big hugs, snowsparkle

10:42 PM  

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