family · poetry · Word of the Day Challenge

kin(d)

fictive kin

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The world of social services, neglect/abuse cases, family courts, has a term for individuals who aren’t biological family but act in the same capacity as family. The term is fictive kin. When children (using children here but it could be one child) are removed from their biological parent(s) for allegations/substantiations of abuse/neglect, often “the State” will look for biological family members to place the children with until a determination can be made as to if/when the child will return to the parent (using single parent here, but it can be two parents are together). Often, the biological family is in just as much crisis as the parent and/or are inappropriate choices for a myriad of reasons. The next place to look to place the children is fictive kin. It has been my experience that 99% of the time there are fictive kin around that can be encouraged/persuaded to step up. This is a true blessing for the children.

Small, scared, hurting,

people in uniforms,

mom crying and screaming,

dad threatening,

baby sister bruised.

A nice lady is taking pictures

of baby sister and in our house.

I hide the marks,

but they take me anyway.

I see people in uniforms

put dad in their car.

Grandma is hugging mom

as she tries to run after us.

I go to a place

with 10 other kids,

baby sister isn’t there.

I have a bed in a room

where a lot of us sleep.

My stuff is in a garbage bag

that the nice lady grabbed

on our way out of the house.

One girl looks in my bag

and takes my favorite doll.

She gives me a mean look

and says I better not tell.

I don’t.

In the morning, the mom lady says

she doesn’t know how long

I’ll be staying with them.

She tries to smile.

I do the chores she tells me to do.

Two of the girls are nice to me,

but they pull my hair when I

won’t let them touch me.

The girl who took my doll

takes my dinner.

At 8pm, there’s a knock at the door.

It’s the nice lady. I leave with her.

Aunt Addy* runs out of her house to get me; I smile.

*fictive kin

word of the day challenge — kin

3 thoughts on “kin(d)

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