[3] Nathan

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I got fired,

Your Mom sits in front of you at the kitchen table.

Mark’s asleep upstairs,

Dreaming of hope,

Of happiness.

You ask her how she got fired.

You already know.

She’s right.

You do.

Showing up late,

Not showing up when she’s hung over,

They were both the usual reasons.

You tell her that quitting drinking would fix that problem,

But she shakes her head no.

You ask about the bills.

Your pay isn’t enough for all of them,

So we will have to pick and choose until I get a job.

You tell her that you were already picking,

Choosing,

Selecting.

That this just made things twice as bad.

But she ignores your comment,

And pours herself a drink.

You know there’s nothing more you can do,

So you head towards your bedroom.

But before you’re out of the kitchen,

You notice the pile of unopened mail.

You take it,

Ignoring your mom’s worried,

Anxious,

Embarrassed eyes.

Only when you’re behind the closed door of your room,

You look through the mail.

New bills,

Old bills,

Extremely overdue bills.

But on the bottom,

Is the unopened letter Mom was hiding.

It’s from Children’s Aid.

Dear Parent/Guardian,

It has come to our attention,

That you cannot provide for your children.

Anonymous concerns have been made,

Stating why you are unfit to be a parent/guardian at this time.

A social worker will be sent at an undisclosed time,

To check into these concerns.

If you are unfit,

They will take your children into a group home,

Where they can get the proper care they need.

Sincerely,

Children’s Aid

Your hands begin to shake uncontrollably.

You,

Think,

The,

Worst.

Who wanted to adopt a sixteen year old boy?

Mark would have a good chance,

But that separated you.

You couldn’t leave Mark,

He couldn’t leave you.

You always stuck together,

But what now?

What happens when you’re separated,

And never see him again?

What happens when he’s taken away from your grasp,

And there’s nothing you can do about it?

How could your own mom allow this to happen?

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