I wasn’t Allowed to Speak, and it haunts me, still

All five of them were placed, higgeldy, piggeldy


on the big green lawn tractor.
How they loved, would BEG for rides around the yard,
and you held them all, in some fashion, so that
no one got jealous, even the baby.

You would never know that two years had been spent in court costs – the savings, the Roth,

our minds, our souls in fighting to get custody of these three children that time forgot.

You were so afraid the judge wouldn’t give you all 3, so you agreed to let your ex keep the five year old.

The oldest, nine, didn’t even know all the letters of the alphabet, or what an orange was.

It took two years of homeschooling, sweat, tears, and sheer grit to teach those children.

None could write or spell.

That same summer, when the youngest boy, six, was dropped off in the front, with nothing but the clothes

on his back, and flip-flops for his visit, we got a phone call a few minutes later (she never got out the car).

“You can have him.” It’s all she said. Besides, she needed some time apart from her boyfriend.

I’m beginning to understand why the judge wouldn’t let me take the stand.


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