Her Future


With her long ragged hair

And chipped nail polish,

She stood at the counter

And scrubbed the dishes.


Low country music

Was in the background

And the dishwasher hummed

With a loud electric sound.


A wailing through the open

Window, sounding down

From up above. And she went

Because the infant called.


And the noise of children

From the basement came,

Playing, and fighting,

Pushing and hugging.


They were not her own,

But her mother’s.

It was her mother’s life,

And she lived it.


Trapped she was not:

Held back by her parents

In a world of their choice -

For it was her choice too.


And it was not forever,

Because they brought her up

To achieve and move on

And build a life of her own.


The sound of the children

And the wail of the babe –

She would move on

Knowing from whence she came.


The hope of tomorrow lay not

In perfect finger nails;

Or billowy, perfectly cut,

Highlighted hair.


But in the cry of a baby,

The children all playing,

The suds of the dishes –

Hers and hers alone.




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