December 29, 2009



You’re my client
But I don’t know you
I've read your case file
But it’s not your story
I've typed your résumé
But it’s not your identity

19 years old
18-month-old daughter
Boyfriend in prison
Parents across the ocean
Looking for housing
Living on the beach

Daughter is healthy
Misses her daddy
You met him at the skate park
He took you to a bonfire
Made you feel special
You thought it was love

He’s not a bad father
But drinks way too much
Works hard as a painter
Controlling in private
Sometimes cruel and abusive
The scars aren’t all visible

One night you defended yourself
With a kitchen knife
The cops called it a weapon
And you accepted the blame
Convicted of assault
With 2 years probation

Whether “homeless” or “poor”
You don’t look like the labels
Your handbag is stylish
Your voice pleasant and poised
You’re no threat to society
Just a girl with a baby

How am I supposed to know
What it's like to be you?
Grad school never taught me
How to fix your life
Am I teaching you anything?
Or are you teaching me?

1 comment:

Weaver said...

great post. well said. you've put a face to what was once just a statistic.