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little boy,
i will love you
in spite of yourself

wipe away statistics
that run from your nose
i know
there is more to you
than this

contents of a folder
collected scores and
medications for
low expectations
the calculation,

i want no more
than to brush away the cross hairs
from your shoulder blades,
replace them with wings
to carry you
far from the empty nights
off of sagging porches
streets with no names
into worlds where you shall
redefine your own
and return home
to uplift this place.

little girl,
many times i have placed you
between the mirror and myself
i am selfish,
watching your steps,
from the side

the backstage master,
i mime movements to you
from shadows
just out of sight

mimic steps
i never seemed to have
remembered myself.

little girl,
your eyes,
in 3 years i have watched them change
the circles, lines, and
the light that illuminated,

slowly dimming
your hands
over open mouth

stop speaking

you are losing your voice
closing your lips
as fast as legs open

little girl
many times
i have ran
merry-go-round circles
around your disappearing frame

i am watching you fade
into backgrounds
where we forget ourselves
and all

my children,
you will leave
and i will remain

haunted by failures
and every drop of sweat
poured into bottomless cups
that were always half empty

the walls will close
the earth will
swallow you whole
the timid sheep
who lost their flock
far from my sheperding gaze

i will think of you
your name

will ring out in
frenzied pitch
carried by howling winds
that rattle the windows
of my memories

you are the lost ones
who forgot their way

and i,
the mother,
forgot to find you
a way out.

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