A first today.
I cried at work.
Been plenty angry
while working jobs.
Never bawled.
One positive—
I work at home.

My daughter is five,
traumatized—melts down
in daily transitions—
screams, throws chairs.
Classrooms evacuated
while in blind red rage.
This is her normal,
accustomed to the colours
of her brother’s lingering,
pre-adoptive trauma.

Her teachers tell me
she’s scared at home.
All the time.
Afraid to be alone.
Loud outbursts—
blue language,
voices escalating,
rising to the bait.
A neglected infant becomes
a teenage boy with stunted
frontal lobe feelings.

His stealing is new.
More lies from a truthful face.
No memory of activity
outside the moment.
The violence is old—
week-long suspensions.
Add home schooling
to daily workload.

I tap the phone,
make familiar appointments.
Emotional education,
support from professionals—
past outcomes dubious.
It takes two to Tango,
an effort to change
after extinction bursts.

Image credit:Maria Lysenko

Jordan Trethewey is the poet laureate of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. He has published work with many small online and print publications internationally, and his work has been translated in Vietnamese, Farsi, and French. He would be bewildered to know you are reading this right now, but would also be secretly pleased. :)

Find more of his work on his work here: jordantretheweywriter.wordpress.com