1

shells.

i am a social worker.
i work in a shelter.
i have learned the language
of boundaries and tough love
but what they do not teach you
is how to pack up the left behinds.
the clothes and the shoes and the papers,
shells of people who have come and left.
the dress that someone wore when
they finally found a job.
the broken sneakers,
shoved in a corner
that have seen more feet
than a podiatrist on wednesday.
the packets of ibuprofen,
that never take away the ache
of children in dss custody.
hair ties, tank tops, journals,
underwear, calendars, ripped pages
with dates and phone numbers
scattered, here and there,
smudged with fingerprints
made from dirt and hope and coffee.
garbage bags and name tags,
shoved into a hallway
that goes nowhere.

Advertisements
0

superman

I rise up in the mornings,
put on my superman cape
paste a smile on my face,
I will show them what it means
To be brave. To be fierce.
I will sip my coffee
like a hero toasting courage,
My back will be straight.
I will be poised. Perfect.
I will be the rock in the storm,
unmovable, unmalleable.
Always sure of my steps
Always positive. Always optimistic.
I will be the knight,
the guard, the shepherd.
Until my watch is over,
and then I will go home.
I will sit in the shower,
and let myself feel.
I will take off the smile,
I will not be brave or fierce.
I will cry and weep
and hurt for them and for me.
So that tomorrow,
I can rise up in the morning
and put on my superman cape.