The Foster Boy’s Bedroom


 emptied the drawers   emptied the chest of its drawers   emptied

the room of the chest   unhung the rattling hangers   hubbard and cupboard


and bare to the bone:   alien airplane bear     dice dog farmyard games

model remote         shinpad soldier track       tyrannosaurus   xylophone

all untoyboxed.     Picture hooks holding up     rectangles of clean paint  


which he cannot deface   the coloured crayons have all   gone along

with the paper and scissors   and cords for the blinds   dark from now on


so he can curl up in his   at least he’s safe place       she is on the other side -

the side with the handle – listening with a lightbulb in her   at least i’m safe place

(the gnawing is coming from inside,   the sobbing,    the rocking are inside)


and safe could be floating,   leaning back on the wind    and not falling,

asleep and sweet dreaming,   held in the palm of a hand     and not shrinking,


or so she imagined once     when she offered her    home   and thought sticks

and stones could not hurt   things shattered could be mended    boys broken fixed