The Most Disturbing Thing I Ever Saw
Wasn’t the trackmarks between my friend’s toes
where she’d shoot up on junk
and allow oblivion
Wasn’t the dead man on the railroad tracks
hit by the Amtrak headed for D.C.
his body mangled and bleeding
Wasn’t the couple having sex in the mall’s back stairwell
humping like animals
on the cigarette-butt covered cement
It was the sight of my mother, lifting my sister
Onto her lap
And bursting into tears
As she told us our father was dead.
No child can handle
Seeing an adult crumble.
Mary Jones © 2003