Foe Danielle

July 3, 2008
By Asia Calcagno, Oak Park, IL

There will be a day
moving places with your own palms
to make a home
won't be an option.
You said your moving started
at age eight
after ya mother chose
a man over her six kids
and ya father promised
drug paraphernalia
won't snatch up in his veins
and back tracked relapse instead.
I wont forget ya voice-
sounding more like a jail call
giving prisoner under three
minutes for phone usage.
You cried for help
knowing when I told you in school
if you ever needed me
I'm seven digits away
not a mile.
I'm sorry you never
felt a real roof over ya head
at ya uncles house-
but there will be a day
moving places around with ya own palms
to make a home
shingles wont slip
I don't know how many houses
you pulled over ya body
at night to cover yourself
calling it a blanket
though it didn't give you security
imagining how an eight year old
can fight off demons without parents.
You're 16 now-
you told my mother
that you have no family here inChicago
that they stay in Cincinnati
they are all you have besides suitcases
and cardboard boxes filling up with books
ans stuffed animals from ya boyfriend.
Danielle, helping you pack
your memories
was a keloid
swelling my heart.
How can you leave high schools
before junior year
no remorse like your aunt and uncle have no remorse?
Leave your boyfriend
with one tear and tough stance
to show you a man
isn't supposed to cry? Leave
for Cincinnati with wings
sprouting your shoulders
because that is what
you remind me of.
Helping you pack up
albums of pictures
slipping family photos
out of wooden frames
and tucking them inside
your denim pockets
like how your mother and father
never did for you
knowing that on that train ride
to Ohio
you will feel relatives
like injections of morphine
dosing you for the hours that
separates you with state boundaries.
Danielle in Ohio I know
that you will smile more than you did here.
Wont have to rely in paper face or
aunt and uncles who treated you
like bootleg blood.
There will be a day
that your hands wont be swollen
from patching up holes in cheap roofs
or calloused from grasping siding and moving around structure
so it fits over your body.
My mother called Cincinnati
to ask if your angel back made it
in your family's wing safe. Your sister
said that you were sleeping.
I wonder if you slept with
the photos of your family's faces
still stuffed in your pockets- or
if you will shake off the morphine memories
of what life will be like
in apple pie homes
with relatives- or let it tingle
like when your wings sprouted just
a little bit longer today.

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