Some Children Are Better Off
Her mother would chase her own shadow.
Sprinting footsteps created vibrations
That shook the kitchen cabinets.
Inside walls decorated in images of
Make upped cheek bones
And teenage boys promising kisses.
She hugged her knees and laid
In the fetal position.
Pretending her mother wasn't real.
In time the casseroles were microwaved
By the social worker.
Foster parents taught her math.
By adding checks from the state.
Together they waved goodbye,
As their fingers turned to pink specs
In the police officer's rear-view mirror.
One Sunday morning,
Jesus winked at her.
From the cross.
When everyone knelt and prayed.
She studied the shadows,
Created by the Lenten candle's flame.
The cathedral was silent with prayer.
But she could hear her mother's footsteps,
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