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POEM: 'Mom was hardly ever home'


You know, when I was young

Mom was hardly ever home

She took to the streets

And left us all alone.

No father to keep us safe

And I was past age eight

A younger sister, Anna

A year old, in sickly state.

Dirty rags used for diapers

Scraps of rotten food to eat

A one room flat in ghetto land

In winter, there's no heat.

We've not been fed nor loved

The sunshine is our light

Locked room with rats and bugs

Oh God, please don't pass us by.

At night Anna continues to cry

Her hunger leaves her weak

I go to her and hold her

As tears sting my cheek.

Soon she quiets to a stillness

But somehow I can't let go

I hold her and I rock her

Oh, I loved her so.

Anna, my dear little one

You're in God's hands now

God will love on you

No poverty to weigh you down.

Out of nowhere, mother comes

Her eyes stare and take in facts

She grabs Anna from me

Without word, buries her out back.

Mother's gone, with the turn of a key

I'm locked away in a hurting shell

Anna's memory fills my heart

May God rescue me from this hell.

• JSANDERS, a Streator native, resides in New Lenox.

• TO SUBMIT POEMS, mail your piece to The Times newsroom or email Please include a short paragraph about yourself and why you wrote the poem. A photo of yourself also is welcome.


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