Sunday, May 27, 2012

Another Role to Play

The filthy child, eyes deep and empty, 
fidgets in the chair, 
nodding at me in greeting, a silent request
catching my heart--
Next to him, mom tells us
about the demons and monsters, and
ending it all with a bottle or a knife,
her arm showing me how.
In that year, he runs free, 
finding life on a farm, far away from mom,
showing me, one day, his 
cowboy boots and his 
big grin.
Thirty years more, I’m next to a young lost soul, 
him talking with the prison guard, 
about ready to blow,
struggling into manhood, wanting
out of the jungle of his life with crazy mother, absent
fatherhoods, him being tossed into the trash.
The guard nods, taking it all in, offering a few
kind words and wisdom, 
now nodding at me in greeting, 
thirty years later.
Neal Lemery  5/27/2012

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