I came at three, the meeting mandatory
Walked the tiny path to the back door
A black garbage bag, full, crammed, untied
Dripping on to the yard, iced tea bottles with no lids

She answered my knocking, she’d been waiting
A stack of newspapers in her hand, thin slices
She peeled one at a time, fitting each to a stair
So our feet landed on news, sports, the comics

She spread her evidence on the round table
Chattered like we’d met at the jungle gym, her girl
Swinging by her heels, laughing and screaming for help
Princess blanket on the mattress, ready for homecoming

Her signatures looped off the pages layered in my file
Permission to intrude, question, investigate, judge
Buried by compliments, would-be comrades, mothers
Each step in a long stairway papered over in its own way


Photo by Anastasia Polischuk on Unsplash














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