Apology for H.

I had the blessing of writing at juvenile hall with amazing kids a few weeks ago. The prompt for the exercise was “An Apology.” I wrote this one for a girl I am fostering. We also did an exercise called “Ten Things You Don’t Know About Me.” I was most impressed by how loving and accepting these “in trouble” kids were.

Apology for H.

I am so sorry for yesterday,
you waiting in your bedroom
for me to say goodnight.
It was eleven and I had been
no snacks before dinner,
don’t use the computer,
can’t drive you now,
stop teasing

all day.

Pink fuzzy robe, turquoise
leopard print pajama bottoms,
you are at the same time
thirteen and three years old.

When you ask for me at bedtime
you are cotton candy at the fair,
that sweet.

How many nights in your life
have you not been tucked in,
how many nights even in my house
has the radio comforted you,
how many nights can someone
fall asleep after hearing no.

I am so sorry, honey.
I will try to save a little me,
a little hug, rub,
an ear to listen, a tickle,