Sunday, April 4, 2010

you know, child

you know, child

when we received that last letter
from your mother,
well, you know, child,
we thought you might just be one of those babies
without any hope at all,
i mean, me and gramps are approaching seventy
and your dad ain't gettin' out for another
fifteen to twenty...

you're a smart kid, james, and you got
something my voodoo aunt would've called
a cavalier soul,
your eyes shine brighter than most,
you know, child,
like you're seeing something beautiful
in the dark trash the rest of us
call everyday

i'm not sure just what to do
a boy needs a mama, you know?
we've been talkin' about adoption or foster care
but everytime you look at me
all i see is a desperation fixin' for a family

we love you
we love your mama too and we've tried damn hard
to forgive your daddy
but we ain't gonna live forever, you know, child,
we gotta think about your future
and don't think we ain't up to date
on the hell that's outside these doors
we might be comfortably old but we're not stupid

have i told you that gramps prays everynight
for an angel to come down to this earth
and look out for you?
i can hear him as i brush my teeth
he speaks softly but his heart attracts volume,
you know, child,
it's obvious that one day
you'll be alone,
did we love you enough?

***originally published in The Foundling Review

Author: Derek Richards