On the outside – hard as nails.
Knuckles scraped, tattoos,
that wild glint in the eye that says: don’t fuck with me!
But his nails are chewed to the quick;
and his insides flutter like dry poplar leaves on a breeze.
He fumbles with his fingers as he stands there and fumbles with his past.
Embarrassed at the warm tears He can’t control –
Weeping for the broken lost boy inside.
He thanks me for having taken confession of his secrets,
Now he can go with a little peace.
As a final thought he asks why God would allow him to even be born to such disfunctional parents.
I want to lie to him and say that it will all be okay in the end –
“You’ve got a lot of shit to deal with,” I say to him instead. “That’s for sure.”
“What did I do to deserve it?” he would like to know.
“Look around”, I say to him. “Did any of you deserve this?”
“Everyone here is on the short end of the stick. No sixteen-year-old deserves to be homeless.”
“Maybe God has bigger plans for you?”, I say to him as a final thought.
He pauses for a ½ second and then continues to put on his jacket.
“If you believe in that sort of thing,” I say after him, as he goes off to his room.