By Abigail Truesdell

Lord, I sit next to this ocean
small, thinking of another
battered lighter beneath her
last clean teaspoon.

Her two girls playing house,
another place that isn’t home.

A social worker who thinks
junkie, never anything more.

Searching the jetty,
a broken brick is a heart-shaped button
off a second-hand doll waiting
for the girls.

Something to make me feel

How can I begin
to confront the history books?
One horror, leading to
a thousand newer ones—

A broken child
with a childless mother.
Her vacant space filled
with a needle.

I’m searching in these rocks.
Not for an answer
I’ll never know…
For you.