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.

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