Friday, April 25, 2008

THE NIGHT I TUCK THE CHILDREN IN

I fix bars across the windows

so Elizabeth Smart and Stephanie Covey

Jessica Lunsford and Christopher Barrios

Would fear the dark less


I showed the children who fetched water

every day from miles away

water rushing out the bathroom taps


The look of wonder in their eyes meant

that not one child left the taps running

as they brushed their teeth that night


Sean Bell’s babies leave happily

when their mother returns from court


Most other children soothed with news

that their parents would come for them tomorrow

To Jon Benet and Nix Marie

i said nothing

like the orphans, they seemed

happy to play and prepare

different families once more


Clay who’d escaped with a safety pin

showed them magic safety tricks

Erica raced to bed quicker than everyone else

Amber read the younger kids three stories

the children who worked two jobs

were showing off their facts

of factories, bosses, money--

I let them be


I was afraid that the children who’d owned guns

And the children who’d been made to turn tricks

would disturb, distort the rest

But their eyes were so wise with the happiness

of being counted amongst the children

that i felt that this one night at least

things would be alright


My own boy always begging for sleepovers

actually smiles

as I turn out the light

As I pull the door close

I notice Warren Jeff’s lost boys

talking to Shawn who was found

Laci’s baby has fine hair—mine

feels it with her fingers, rolls towards him



_

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Now you have made me cry,

tamasha said...

I can't even deal with what you've written.

See the F, btw. :)

Pritha said...

i love this poem and i'm quite sure that the meme of being childful has never been treated quite like this before. wow.