The gut wrenching sound of the crunch of metal
as it meets metal resonates in every ear within close range.
Heads whirl about to locate the source.
Feet are swift arriving to the scene.
Sirens, the sources of help can be heard whining in the background.
In a flash they appear and trained lifesavers are lifting out the tiny body.
He is bruised and bloody, his mocha eyes filled with fear.
Mom didn’t make it.
The truck driver is a mass of profuse apologies.
It had been a long night and he’d crossed many state lines.
He should have stopped, gotten some rest.
But he’d pressed on and now this.
Onlookers gasp at the sight of life expired
as the young mother is extracted from the wreckage.
Tiny tears fall into open cuts as mommy goes away.
His small brown body shudders, silent grief.
Anguished faces showing pity at the world’s newest orphan.
There’s not another soul in his little world.
Not an aunt or uncle, daddy unknown.
Where will he go?
How about you with the Lexus, in your three-car garage in the hilly suburb?
You have no room, well of course we understand.
Excuse me, over there, with the Rolex, keeping time, could you take him in?
Oh, you have one already?
Yes, of course, another mouth to feed is no easy task.
Will no one step forward?
And then someone answers the call.
She is a woman of modest possession, it shows in her dress.
Already babes clinging to her dress-tail and one latched firmly at her breast.
Heads shake disapproval, they refuse her based on what their eyes can see.
Poverty in it’s truest sense is what the outside shows.
They do not take the time to view the abundance of her inward possessions.
Her infinite love and strength nor her patience and wisdom.
She is dismissed, not qualified.
And then another steps to the plate.
Her name is the State.
She does not love him at all, and if it were not for the many eyes watching,
she’d never have taken him in the first place.
She clothes him minimally and his ever- growing limbs find themselves
constantly in contact with the elements because of the holes at the knees,
the elbows and all points in between.
He’s growing and it can’t be helped.
You can only keep a boy sized 8 inside of a size 6 for so long.
She feeds him inadequately, not enough for seconds,
the other kids have too eat you know.
She educates him substandardly, there’s not enough classroom attention,
and he has so many distractions.
The teachers call him slow, not realizing that the deficiency
could very well be theirs.
Tutoring is out of the question because State does not believe in quality time.
His frustration grows as “See Spot Run” evolves into MacBeth
and his understanding shows not enough progress.
State tells school to give him a GED and she pats him on the head
and tells him he’s fine.
Eighteen years old and she gives him a swift kick out the door.
There’s never been enough room for him
and there’s certainly not room anymore.
“See Spot Run,” becomes “May I take your order please?”
but the money comes too slow.
Rude voices and evil stares for pocket change are too much to endure.
No money, and no place to go, State won’t let him come back.
So, he’s shacking with the girl down the way, on the corner with the fellas,
scheming on how he’s gonna get paid.
Up drives the Lexus, lost, on the wrong side of town.
Naďve asking for directions, he rolls his window down.
No time for hesitation, thinking what is right or wrong.
The gut wrenching sound of the shotgun blast
as steel meets flesh from close range.
No time for final thoughts, as he is sprayed with brain matter.
Time swirls around, a moment is a flash.
He hadn’t thought of what happens next and he’s frozen.
Frozen back in a moment of time.
Sirens growing louder as they arrive upon the scene.
Doors slamming, guns cocked and suddenly he’s on his face.
Seven o’clock news tells the story.
In the courtroom he is alone and to his surprise he sees her across from him.
She pretends not to recognize him and will not look at him at first.
When finally she raises her eyes he sees years of resentment, anger
and disgust and he is surprised no longer.
She has been looking at him that way all his life.
She is the State.