they woke me at two in the morning, those boys on the road in their plaid jackets and mittenless fingers, hatless heads and clown noses and “i wonder if they put those on to try and stay warm?” my husband wondered.
mother in law had stopped to see if they needed help, those bare hands gripping four bags of toys, those legs toddling down the road in the cold of the lion of march
“our dad’s not home,” the older one told her, and the younger one sniffed and they looked towards the trailer, screen door swinging and she knew she couldn’t leave them on the road
the one in kindergarten, the other turning seven “tomorrow” which he said in the disappointed way only a child could, whose mother has run away, whose father wasn’t home when his children were dropped on the step by a grandma too overcome by the death of her husband to take care of them any longer
and they were walking back to grandma’s, four hours away.
and they got into my mother in law’s van too fast, too fast, she said, but they were so cold, so very cold and life holds no fear for the abandoned, for the worst has already happened
and she took them to a place where children are safe, a place with toys and snacks and couches, a place where phone calls were made and authorities told and all the time the boys wondering when they were going to be taken back to grandma’s… for even when the familiar doesn’t want you, it’s still familiar
and when it came time for mother in law to leave, she teared up for “we’d bonded” she told me but the boys, they just shrugged thin goodbyes and put on their clown noses for they were tough, she said… they had to be. otherwise they’d die and no one would notice.
and they woke me up at two, walking, forever walking towards their grandma’s with their clown noses and their purple hands and their bags of toys
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|35. recuerda mi corazon|
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38. I Live in an Antbed
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45. Weighing Heavily on My Heart
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