Childish

She’s fourteen.

Demographics? Parentless.

There are showers in the locker room.

Too many mothers move to California never packing their children.

Too many fathers advertising on the sex offender list.

 

Demographics? His buddy’s couch.

He’s sixteen.

An angry, independent, reckless smart, and not just because it’s cool.

He’s failing everything.

Self-induced by never sleeping, self-medicating.

Still his most covered marks are not the self-inflicted kind.

And thermal shirts can’t hide the scares behind the eyes.

 

He’s seven.

His birthday was today he thinks.

He didn’t ask. He doesn’t speak.

His bike serves as a rescue truck

Away from fires he can’t put out.

Demographics? Miles away and no one even notices.

Hours past dark. He walks home his flat tire.

They don’t ask because they don’t know and he doesn’t talk.

 

She’s three.

Certified youtube taught vocabulary.

Demographics? A spotless, toyless, perfect home.

The kind that requires refinancing and second jobs and overtime.

Her kitten keeps her calm.

Her kitten tucks her in at night,

While the nanny entertains.

And everyone is happy.

And nothing will ever change.

 

A place of residence is not by choice until it is

And then how we dismiss

The role that bikes and couches play.

Adults desensitized in time for kids.

Too often we neglect,

Too quickly we downplay our wounds, our childhood

And our children pay the price instead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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