Monday, January 25, 2010

Life's Work

I don’t want to work another day
Hear people talk behind my back and say
I don’t work as hard as I ought to
I left early - got caught - lied and said I was in the library
after the children left
My work was done
Why should I stay
Bereft by 3 pm each day
driven to exasperation
complaints follow me
I came late I leave early
They tell me talk to Thomas who is 5, a year older than the others in his class. He picked up a chair and threw it somewhere. Luckily it hit no one. I could talk to him till I’m blue in the face.
Thomas needs to be in a special setting I'm betting they want some magic answer
They tell me call his mother get her in here
The mother comes in
cigarette dangling from her lips she says what can I do I have to go to work I have to make money. The espresso with milk she sips matching her own brown color, a drop drips down her chin
Downcast eyes
She patiently repeats I have to go to work, I have a family of 4 to support
she's got to hold down the fort, it's not for sport -
tomorrow she's got to go to court, she says- and that's another day lost
I have to pay my bills, what time can I go to my job
working working I talk about Thomas
She shakes her head - she doesn't know what to do
I pray I cry for me and others
I want to live free - I watch her sip her coffee, a cold winter day
My energy dissipates I anticipate our fate, acclimate to
another day, another school, a 15 year old girl is hearing voices, she’s afraid of someone in her head, a neighborhood Santera
A plethora of voices in her head make her scream
I hold her head to allay her pain told her to imagine a beam of white light, God supreme protecting her
no one else knew what to do
So they brought her to me, grateful they said Friday was their day for me
She held my hand and prayed
using strange erratic and loud routines
I told her she’d be ok, I'd keep the demons at bay
told her the saints she prayed to would help her
teachers and students were scared they were glad I was there
They called EMS tell me
I should take the girl no one knew was psychotic to the hospital
They called her parents
I got in the ambulance with her
They were afraid she’d go ballistic again is why they asked me to go with her.
At the hospital they say she was only calm with me cause I entered her world so perfectly
Helped her hold on for hope, played her band-aid, her nursemaid
There are times when there’s no place to go but inside someone's head
join them inside to guide them, I do it so easily it’s because I too am crazy
I long for the american dream - as we glide downstream in my capable hands
my sensibilities attacked by another breaker wave
It’s hard out here for a social worker