“Have you ever seen such a sad picture?”
Angela asked, a soft sigh passing her lips
before leaning down to inhale crystal white lines.
Eyes too old, skin blistered and ragged,
“I used to be quite a sight to see.
The boys lined up just for a glimpse of my smile.”
Rotting black teeth peek out.
Her tremored hands light up a Lucky Strike;
deep puff, release.
“Fell in love with a boy with pretty words,
but that’s all he gave. Well, that and two babies.
Then one day he was gone. Poof. Just like that.”
Dazed, now that relief has kicked in,
eyes somewhere in the past.
“Never should have been a Mama.
Never could stand all that screaming and crying.
No, the Lord never should’ve given me those babies.”
Pick, pick, picking at her skin;
shake, shake, shaking her head.
“The first one, we named him Tommy, drowned.
Playing by the river. I should’ve…
Well, should’ves don’t matter now.”
The cigarette glows bright, then release.
“He was four, just a baby.
The cops made me identify the body.
Blue and white, my baby.”
Flat voice, flat eyes.
“Then those CPS people came and took the other one.
I didn’t argue, I wasn’t fit to raise babies.
But sometimes I wonder…”
Sharp sadness flickers across her face for just a moment
before she eases back into the bliss.
“Well, I guess wondering don’t matter anymore either.”