The Kid

There she is
The kid on her hip
I hold her outstretched hand
It's been too long, she says,
A smile in her eyes
I fake a smile back
Inside I feel sorrow
A hole in my heart
There was nothing I could do
That December night
When she showed up on my doorstep
In tears
The test in her outstretched hand
I held her for a night
Told her everything would be alright
But the money was short
On both our sides
Two little girls
With nothing but themselves
One of them growing up too soon
I remember that night
I rocked her back and forth
Cooing in her ear
All those things I wanted her to hear
I love you, even if he doesn't
And I let her go that next morning
Into the blizzard
And the sad smile revealed her chattering teeth
She didn't call back that week
Or the next
And her mama told me three months later that
She'd gone to Oklahoma to live with her grandparents
For a year
But now she's back
And I'm home from my freshman year
I hold her outstretched hand
And fake a smile back
But I look into the bright blue eyes of the kid
His mother's eyes
And I feel sorrow deep inside
Because there was nothing I could do
That December night


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