Bough Breaks Back Forward



child who slept, woke, cried
child lifted in the arms of not-mother
child come-to-be in antiseptic and linoleum
child scooped and bundled to plane, belted and lifted-off
child cribbed in nursery with pink and yellow curtains
child's fact-of-a-mother imprinted
child a country of rain and sharp-edged leaves
child a country of wide roads and diesel school buses
child the weight of a color: lemon, piss, cold winter sun
child whose face is far from where she imagines
child with anger behind the row of white lacy socks
child a map of a room she does not name
child splinters meaning from words
child sings the same song her friends sing —
             voice brushed against the recess air singing her slanted
             American knees