Wounded

“Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain.” – John Locke

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” – Nelson Mandela

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” – Dr. Seuss

Wounded

The tiny blonde woman wails like a banshee

Invoking her curse that I not see my children again

Since the Courts ruled she can’t see her children again

Says she will take me out like Rambo

Court orders sever familial ties

As Reunification services are terminated

A three-year-old boy

Whose name she doesn’t remember “You know, the one I hit.”

And social workers are left to assess detriment

For future visits with this parent

There will be no contact

And Jeffery learns he doesn’t have to hide

Each time he hears footsteps

Doesn’t cower at the knock on the door

The door is not after him It won’t slam him down

As when momma calls from the other side

His vocabulary multiplies each day

His now chubby freckled cheeks widen

As a grin spreads across his face

He runs to the waiting arms of his foster mother

Learning to trust – there are no tricks here

No fist hidden behind her back

Waiting to strike out

Like the eerie hissing of the snake

Whose incantations are lifted from my voice mail

Voice printing

As the sheriff’s department collects evidence

My office building covered with her picture

Covered with warnings – Do not approach

Report sightings immediately

She says that it is her daughter that she loves

The one with the heart condition … her name is Brittany

Does she remember?

Does she remember the names of any of the others?

Six others – each who have different homes

In different states across the country

Altered states

Is time healing their wounds? Do the scars show?

The deepest ones rarely do

Thousands of miles from here

Other social workers are dealing with scars

From the tiny blonde woman

Who wails like a banshee

On my voice mail

In their nightmares

In the quiet of my room

Late at night

Back at the office

I hesitate Before answering the phone

At work they tell me to be careful

“Watch your back” “get an escort to your car”

Reassurance that law enforcement is looking

For the tiny blonde woman

Is obtaining a warrant

They lie in wait for her

As she lie in wait for Jeffery

On the other side of the door

As she lies in wait for me

Wailing

This wounded animal

Lies in wait

Waiting to strike

And I wonder about the animal

That wailed lying in wait for her

Ripping its claws deep inside

Shredding her mind, her soul

Wounded, wailing

The tiny blonde woman

Wails and

Waits

Bisous,

Léa