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Foster Parents

ISSUE:  Autumn 1997
The bluebird stood still in your coloring book.
It said Kansas, Kansas. It would fly soon,
out the open window into the wheatfield.
Crayons are what you use to make it stay.
It is, after all, your own book, as
this house is certainly not, the big aunt
burgeoning into motherhood, her underpants
on the line outside. She is pinning them up.
They fill with wind. They try to fly.
She smooths them out.
She squats and pins another up.
I must be seven, wheezy, neurasthenic,
sticky nose, I wipe on my sleeve.
Her plastic tub is almost empty. Brassieres.
The wheat is breathing.
Try, warbler, to select your colors:
red for the apples on the table,
green for your short pants,
blue for motherlove.


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