There have always been those images
of him which go against the grain, dark
baby eyes staring without curiosity
from his parents’ pale Caucasian arms,
his four-year-old disdain for particulars
like the number of wheels on a car,
his need to be constantly entertained.
Questions weave through the unfolding cloth.
Why couldn’t he sit still in school? Get A’s?
Why did he always resist homework and rules?
Why did some parents of his friends ban him?
Racism draws through the warp of this weave.
And rejection by his birth mother. Adoption.
Unwinnable competition with above-average
siblings. Rejection of our values. Alienation
from the family.
Pedals of the loom clack to advance the bolt
of his independence. Each lowering of the boom
reveals the new design of his life: purchase of
this video or that game not matched with plans
for payment, daily restaurant meals and new
electronic toys, sexual passions needing instant
fulfillment. The pattern became a dark blanket
smothering his ten-year marriage, family life, work.
The woof and warp of his ways caught up to him
one spring day, its weave incomprehensible.
The threads of conviction, probation violation and
prison entangled all our lives.
first published in BEHIND PRISON WALLS Chapbook
©2011 Bonnie Manion