Monday, April 18, 2011

Poem 18/30 Inga's Daughter


She was the kind of white girl everyone called China.
School started too early in the morning.
Her mother’s apartment was a mess until she ran away from the group home.
Inga, the mother, kept the snake and cats locked up in her room.
It was the the only dirty part of the house.
China woke up at four each afternoon, mopped the floors,
cooked dinner, went out for the night.
Inga’s job was to go to her program, spend the food stamps,
and download movies. She was surprisingly computer savvy.
The year China turned 15, they both had boyfriends in prison.
China’s got out first. Inga came home and her bedroom door
was slightly ajar, she said all you could see was their feet.
Inga said it looked cute.
The boyfriend was a pretty nice guy but he couldn’t stay out of trouble. He treated China decently, bought Chinese food, told her go to back to school.
She followed his advice, graduated first in her GED class.
Accepted to nursing school, but she got pregnant by the next guy.
The one who shot and killed her two years later.
She was strapping the baby into her car seat. If she hadn’t been so worried about the baby’s safety, she might have escaped.
Instead of getting shot in the back.
Her hair was long with new blond streaks and she wore a pink bathrobe.
She’d remembered the baby’s mittens. It was the first cold night of autumn.
It happened to be my birthday but that doesn’t really matter.
I knew her since she was 14, but not well enough to join the mourners, or so I was told.
The baby’s being raised by the other grandmother.
I don’t know what they tell her about her father.

© puma perl, 4/18/11

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