Heart pounding against her rib cage,
Hands clasped in her lap.
Her name is Ellie Reynolds.
Her ocean blue eyes
Show nothing but patience.
Her pearly white smile,
shows nothing but warmth.
Her brown hair streaked with gray
swept neatly into a bun.
No one would expect her son to be in a place like this.
Blue eyes travel the room,
Looking for a pair she has known all his life.
There. She finds a pair of gray eyes,
so much like a thunderstorm,
Flooded with fear.
She sees hair as blonde as vanilla cake,
The kind he loves on his birthday.
She sees freckles dotting his nose,
Each one a kiss from the sun.
She sees hands much like her own,
Drumming against the desk.
His name is Daniel Reynolds.
He is sixteen years old.
He was caught shoplifting a pair of sneakers,
The ones he wanted but she never got.
The ones tucked under her bed,
All wrapped for his birthday.
As his fingerprints go into the system,
Ellie Reynolds memorizes his face.
She memorizes his joyous laugh,
She memorizes his warm smile.
She even memorizes the way his face scrunches
When he gets confused.
She takes these last few moments
To send all her comfort, love,
And understanding to her son.
Because in a moment,
He will not be the only one under arrest.
He will not be the only one with stained fingers,
And he will not be the only one with a stained record.
In a moment he will realize,
He is not, and never was,