Someone Let Him In

But No One’s Held Accountable

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

An elementary school
One dead set on security
One with bills to pay
Just like all of us
One dollar away from closing
One family trust shy
Of the things we thought 
We paid for

You can hire a new person
Who won’t recognize faces
The ones who can’t hurt us
The solidarity of community
Hate splayed on the inside
Where maybe my child
Sat for lunch last week

Some stranger’s scribblings
The need to feel power
Let in with a key
Who has the key
Who knows the combination
A man with some ink
Who chooses White Power

A statement so bold
Written where our children eat
How did he get here
A friend of the family
So bold to hold witness
To the comfort we seek

When I was a child
It was better to hide
Where the ones before
Me arrived from
Could be shot by a kid
Who said it would happen 
At recess

This mother won’t be quiet
This is not what she chose 
For her son
She chose at least hoping
For the illusion of safety
He wouldn’t have to run

Graffiti so loud
Drafts of future lives
Quaking
You were not supposed 
To be here
But someone let you in.


Samantha Lazar 2019

Other work by Samantha Lazar:Cut Yourself Open (And Let Your Writing Heal You)
What locked boxes are hidden deep in your closet?medium.com

Driving My Grandfather Home

A Poetry Memoir in Free Verse (for Poetry Sunday)

Photo by Matt Alanizon Unsplash

My father drives his father home
Too weak to fly to the other side

It happens
Again

We’ll leave his condo as it is
For now

The braced grins of my sister and me
Glued to the fridge

Children and grandchildren and great grandchildren
Frozen in time on the humid porch

Crabgrass and palm trees
Neighbors who knew him

And watched him
Perhaps his puzzles half finished

Still spinning
The music he could whistle flawlessly

To his wife
Her memory still staring from her chair

Beautiful knowing as time passes
We do what we can

My father arranges his one
Bedroom apartment

Then brings his father
Home

© Samantha Lazar2019

Thank you for reading. You may also enjoy:The Silver Briefcase: How, as an Adult Child, I Learn to Let Go Over and Over
I held my dad’s hand — thumbs like mine, familiar as if I had been holding it for 38 years.medium.com
My Grandfather this Morning
My grandfather this morning,medium.com

Where Will My Child Be Safe?

A Poem in Response to Prompt: Maps

Photo by Matt Popovichon Unsplash

We all sleep, and breathe and dream in this city —

But do not go east at night, dear child.

I have mapped these crimes,
These grand indictments.
These crossed lines 
Extend past daybreak too
I’ve heard these tales, and steer clear
Of the latitudes and longitudes.

And south of here, right by school
Where you want to just look at Lego sets
Even though we have groceries to get — 
This parking lot becomes territory
To lost souls who are not here
For Starbucks or weekly shopping peace.

And yes, all 12 voted, first degree
Behind your soccer practice fields
Mark on your map, a felony.
Don’t be alone for crossfire then — 
Please hold my hand,
Just hold my hand.

And north of course,
Where you were born
Suspicious vehicle left to emergency
A man, left to bleed, 
a kid, really — 
Only 16.

Does his mother weep?
Her sweet son lost in the same driveway
Where first we both drove home,
Nursed our newborn boys
To sleep. 
Mark the north spot. Ink it, deep.

Well west, you said,
Mama look how the sun sets — 
It’s so beautiful, Mama. 
Please look away my child.
I learned that predators are out on bail, 
And I have no more ways for us to sail.

© Samantha Lazar 2019

Originally Published Here.

Following my Mom across the Pasture

A poetry memoir

Purple Martin Houses — Samantha Lazar

Lazy Saturday filled with talks, dogs, hours
moving sunlight
announcing blooms

It is spring on our land after all

Which mums to move
and herbs to weed
New raspberry
What course to take

I am her, and she is me
and as she ages,
I must too.

The willow’s grown
Will we have peaches this year?
That is always the hope,
she says.

Attempting to bring the horses down
I’m in no hurry,she says, are you?

Suddenly everything
is tears
and I don’t know why — 
but I do

She calls me to come see
a mouse grown fat
safe under the grain bucket

I am frozen — 
flip flops, rutty earth
salt spring, jasmine
my mother’s voice,
calling the horse
the small visitor

April wind — 
I see it all
this moment how precious.
And she tells me to not be
afraid of the mouse.

We both laugh again
pretending that is
what I see.

© Samantha Lazar 2019

Originally published here.

As he grows

And as he grows
I am reminded to
Pay attention
The days of his total
Dependence are
Almost forgotten
He can open the
Refrigerator and take
Out the jelly
Demanding it spread
On his uneaten peanut
Butter only bagel in
His lunch box
He has a lunch box!
How quiet are our nights
How quickly his mind expands
Telling me the red thread
On my shirt
Reminds him of red blood cells
Magic School Bus!
I kept a list of his words
When he was first saying
Mama and Daddy
And bug and moon
All the things I forgot
To write down
To capture every moment
As if it wouldn't escape
Me anyway

​4/3/15


Phoenix

Phoenix
S.R. Lazar
9/29/18

There was a moment
not too long
after the turn of the century,
or at least it felt soon after,
where they tried
one last desperate
attempt to cling to their grandfather’s insistence of genetic dominance
determined by gender
when all could not sleep
A night that made anxiety
Weak in the knees as we watched
A decision of the shameless
Of powerless deniers
Of absolute enablers
Because to look in the mirror
Would remind them of all of
The Mothers and maybe their
Fathers who made them
And how they too are both
Victim and lost
To convenience of amnesia
But we were watching
We knew this would happen
Another symptom of excuses
Of excess
And no accountability
But it was time.
Because this was the straw
That broke the straw on top
Of the last thing that happened
We thought we were past
Already we were all
ready
Enough.