Day 13 – A Sackful of Rocks

Every time I remembered your face,
I picked up a rock.

I have been waiting for the longest time,
carrying a sackful of rocks,
in hopes that someday I’ll find you
up against a wall
and I’ll find use for them at last.

But the bag was getting so heavy
since I remembered you a lot
and finally I knew that it was so silly
to carry anything for you.

Now every time I remember your face
I drop a seed in someone else’s yard;
I never go back to water them but
they grow tall just the same.

Day 12 – What I Told Your Kids

I told them to describe their feelings,
that I would listen.
I told them to make a list of adjectives:
angry, disappointed, overwhelmed, unsure.
I told them to decide for themselves what is
an appropriate response to losing.
I told them to use their voices to speak,
to stand for what they believe.
I told them to keep a few strategies on hand
to help them endure and heal.
I told them that I will be here to listen,
and then I went on mute.

I didn’t really tell your kids anything.
They told me their truth.

Day 10 – Trailers

We lived in trailers, yours was
right across the street from mine
We’d play out on the street and
sit on logs in your front lawn
We both had parents who were
stingy, mean, and angry then
’cause poverty had done its work
and ground them to the bone
They said that trailers were for
living, not for playing so I
only saw you outside in the
cul-de-sac after school
Our moms would holler out the
front door if we didn’t make it
back inside for homework
before the streetlights came on

And I know they beat you
they beat me too

Because trailers were for grounding,
spanking, standing in the corner
not for playing, not for praying
that you both would make it out
And when I made it out I thought
of you, I hoped that you had
made it too, you went to high school
somewhere far, I don’t know where you are
but I think you deserved
far more than what you got.

Day 9 – Children’s Dreams

It’s not true that children have impractical, silly dreams.
They want dogs, swingsets, breakfast for dinner
They want to be ballerinas and dentists
They want birthday parties and Disneyland
They want 100 friends

It’s the grownups who have the most curious, fantastical ambitions.
They want billions of followers, luxury goods
They want to run around dressed as vikings
and break other people’s things
They want complete freedom of Twitter speech
They want to own people
They want to rule

What say we stop harping on kids to strive for more-
their dreams are big enough.

Day 8 – $$$

we spent so long reading books about dinosaurs
but couldn’t afford the museum trip
we built solar system dioramas
but couldn’t get our hands on a telescope

the world we learned from a teacher’s mouth
who read it from a publisher’s house
and they wonder why we think the truth
belongs to the richest man