Thursday, March 26, 2015


Court again.
I arrive around 10 
for the 10:30 docket time.
The boys do not arrive until 10:28. 
The walk across the courtroom with their sister.
I have not seen them for two weeks.
They do not make eye contact.
They look thin and I wonder
what they have been eating.
Both boys need haircuts.
The judge calls our case numbers.
There are three.
One for each of the boys.
One for their sister. 
I sit on one side of the podium.
The boys sit on the other.
The judge tells me that I can decide
whether they should come home.
Now. Or in 30 days. Or sixty. Or 90.
Or six months or a year.
I want them to come home right now. 

I want to feed them.
I want to send them for hair cuts.
I want to hold them 
in my arms and comfort away
all the hurt of the past few weeks.

Instead I draw a deep breath.
Wipe away a tear.
I still have not heard apologies.
I know, despite what they say
that they are still smoking.
Pretty much every day.
Neither has a full time job.
I feel like I need to say something.
"When I adopted you in 2003
I say, "It was forever.
And it is still forever.
But I am not willing to live with addicts."
And so I say, "90 days."
Kadeem protests.
"I was living with her before.
And now we are basically homeless."
I wonder what is happening with his father.
Later I hear rumors that Isaiah 
is living with an older brother.
The judge does not blink. 
"Ninety days," she says firmly.
Isaiah says nothing.
Accepts his fate.
The boys' sister does not want to see me again. Ever.
She just wants to stay in touch with her brothers.
And that is fine with me.
I sit alone as the clerk finishes copying the paperwork.
The boys are across the courtroom.
Then I head to the car.

When I get back to school
I call the boys.
I am not supposed
to have any contact
but I cannot stand it.
I need to tell them 
I love them.
Sometimes love is way too hard.


Anonymous said...

Love is difficult but true love forces you to make difficult decisions. You won't regret it. They will grow and take more control of their choices.

A big cyber hug! I'm sorry!

Carol Varsalona said...

Carol, your hurt is amazingly deep as evidenced by this poem but your courageousness is amazing. Tough Love is a very difficult stance. My thoughts are with you.

elsie said...

Life decisions are so difficult, yours and the boys. Someday they will understand how their actions have broken your heart. Hopefully, they will change the path of their life and find their way back to you.

Lori said...

I hope their time will help them correct their path. Every word you write shows your love and pain. I pray you will find comfort.

Nanc said...

You are standing strong with God and your mama's heart. They need to get clean and a new perspective. I will pray that this will happen during the time. They know you love them, they also know they hurt you also. xo nanc

Jone said...

I hope that they will find the light to begin the path to recovery. Love is about making the hard decisions. I love your words and the strength that you have.

Mary Lee said...

Oh, Carol. Sending hugs, hugs, hugs.