I worked for many years in the juvenile court. Jimmy is a composite. The worker may leave the job, but the children will never leave the worker.
Tanka: An unrhymed Japanese poem consisting of five lines of 5/7/5/7/7. Tanka is generally written in two parts. The first three lines is one part, and the last two lines is the second part.
*Please note that the picture of the boy is one I chose from stock photos and not known to me.
”He was born that way.
Hyper, mean, hitting others.
–Mother, beaten from the age
of two, until now. Addict.
”He’s my first grandchild.
When she’s in jail, he stays here.
I wish she’d leave him.”
–Grandma, drunk, married to drunk.
Grandpa’s in prison for rape.
”He will not sit still!
Can’t do his work. Gone a lot.
–Teacher, with 30 students,
half of which fit this profile.
”He was a sweet child.
I used to read to him; his
face filled with wonder.”
–Elderly neighbor, who lost
her eyesight, then audience.
”He’s my bro for life.
We take what we never had.
You got more, mofo.”
–Best friend, carries a glok 9,
(They’ve done juvie together.)
”Young man, you’re hopeless.
You’ve been before me too much.
Boot Camp for two years.”
–Judge, born rich, lives rich (dies rich)
This-that, us-them, quick-fix (not)
”Maggots, you will run
10 miles, then scrub 10 toilets!
It’s all you’re good for.”
–Drill sergeant, puts thousands through
transforms to killing machines.
Bomb squad not available.
Troops, move forward now!”
–Lieutenant, given carte blanche
with lives deemed expendable.
”Mama? Grandma? (groan)
I remember that picnic
where we were laughing…”
–Jimmy, a good boy, his life
doomed within a small cruel box.